Minus Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade, Bulls get blown out by Warriors

Minus Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade, Bulls get blown out by Warriors

OAKLAND — Winning a game at Oracle Arena is almost an impossible task under normal circumstances for even the best of teams.

Subtract Jimmy Butler.

Subtract Dwyane Wade.

So when the odds are recalibrated, giving a roster that's the equivalent of the land of misfit toys a chance to win — meaning it would take something miraculous.

It didn't look as bad as the score indicated, but the Bulls never truly felt in it despite the relatively mild 123-92 outcome Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.

Since the Bulls pulled off an improbable win at Oracle on Jan. 27, 2015, the Warriors have lost just five regular-season games on this floor, and there would be no miracle to be had Wednesday night.

Kevin Durant wasn't a member of the Warriors during the last Bulls win, and he was chief reason there wouldn't be a second one as he slashed through the lane for dunks and popped out for easy triples on his way to 22 points and 10 rebounds in a relatively sweat-free performance.

It was pretty easy for the Warriors because the Bulls had seven first quarter turnovers, helping an already-focused Warriors team ready to atone after a bad outing in Sacramento filled with a little controversy between Draymond Green and Durant.

In other words, just what the Bulls needed — an angry team. After an 11-11 start, the Warriors went on a 13-0 run that put some distance between the two, having the Bulls playing catch-up all night.

"They came out the gate with a big lead," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. "It's a team that lost and had some time to recover and regroup, especially when there's controversy that sounds like mostly b.s., it's a tough team to come out and play against."

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Klay Thompson came on after a slow first half to score 26, and Green — the man who'll forever live in Bulls' fans nightmares — scored 16 with seven rebounds and four assists.

"We know they didn't have their whole team, but we still tried to play our game and get better. And keep growing," Durant told CSNChicago.com in the immediate aftermath.

"I think we're moving in the right direction. I've never been 44-8 on a team before."

Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson led the Bulls with 17 and 15 points, respectively, getting inside for some easy baskets against the stingy, aggressive Warriors, but they were the only ones with a flow.

"That's what we wanted to do coming out. I thought we missed them numerous times when they had (defenders) on their back and we ended up turning it over," Hoiberg said. "We gotta do a better job so we can take advantage."

Michael Carter-Williams' recent magic seemed to wear off, and Jerian Grant also struggled as the Bulls were under 40 percent for most of the night.

If there were some foolish observers who dared claim Butler and Wade were holding back the development of the younger players, that blew up in smoke quite quickly as there was little creativity in terms of shot creation unless Rajon Rondo's 12 points and seven assists truly count in that way.

But it was a meritocracy of shots — shots that missed all night as the Bulls never led and shot 42 percent, trailing by double figures nearly from the onset.

It didn't mean Fred Hoiberg didn't try seemingly everything in his limited bag of tricks to keep some form of pace with the team that probably represents everything he would want his team to be, as he played Isaiah Canaan and finally gave Denzel Valentine some run after his stint in the D-League.

And to some degree the Bulls were hanging in there, limiting resident snipers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson to just 5-for-14 shooting in the first half.

But when Thompson hit two corner triples to start the third quarter, Hoiberg was forced to call a timeout, the Bulls down 20 before they even blinked — as Thompson's first five made baskets were all 3-pointers.

To that point, the Bulls were 1-for-11 from the long line.

And it didn't get much better. They finished 4-for-24 from 3, with the Warriors hitting 15 triples on their way to an easy win.

Report: Bulls looking to move up in NBA Draft for Bamba or Jackson

Report: Bulls looking to move up in NBA Draft for Bamba or Jackson

The Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings flipped a coin to determine which team gets two different sets of numbers for NBA Draft Lottery. The Bulls won, but their set of numbers landed them the seventh overall pick. Meanwhile, the Kings won overall landing the second overall pick.

While the coin toss and lottery didn't work in their favor, the Bulls could be taking matters into their own hands and are looking to climb the draft order. According to a report from Jonathan Givony of ESPN, the Bulls are "exploring the possibility of moving up to No. 4 or No. 5".

Bulls fans have been enamored with Michael Porter Jr., but Givony says the Bulls are looking for a big man to pair alongside Lauri Markkanen like Mo Bamba or Jaren Jackson Jr.

RELATED: All of our 2018 NBA Draft content in one convenient place

The seventh overall pick has been kind to the Bulls in the past, netting the team players like Kirk Hinrich and more recently, Markkanen (who was technically drafted by the Timberwolves but was a part of the trade for Jimmy Butler on draft night).

Now, Markkanen is the centerpiece of the Bulls plans as they build for the future. After Bamba's workout with the Bulls, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider Vincent Goodwill noted the Texas big man could be the best fit alongside Markkanen and Bamba agreed.

“I think Lauri and I, we're in a sense ... the front court of the future,” Bamba said. “I mean, he can step out and really shoot it really well. That gives me a lot of room to operate down low and start to develop.”

NBA Draft night could once again shape up to be an exciting night for Bulls fans.

Make sure to follow Bulls Talk, insider Vincent Goodwill and Mark Strotman for all the latest news surrounding the NBA Draft. Goodwill and Strotman will be at the Advocate Center, the Bulls Draft headquarter providing extensive coverage.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls trade up or down in the draft?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bulls trade up or down in the draft?

Mark Carman, Hub Arkush, Phil Rogers and Will Perdue join Kap on the SportsTalk Live Podcast.

The guys start by discussing Brandon Morrow's injury that he sustained while taking off his pants... what's the craziest cause for an injury the guys can remember?

Plus, should the Bulls move up or down in Thursday's NBA Draft? Does it make sense to take on a bad contract in a potential deal?

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: