With a poor performance in the clutch, the Bulls lose to the Heat in a defeat that ends their season.


The story of the season continued on Friday night, with the Bulls once again failing to close out a win. Chicago headed into war with the Heat in a high-intensity win-or-go-home battle, ultimately coming up short, failing to make the playoffs. The Bulls led by seven at one point in the fourth quarter, but Miami would bring it to the Bulls, flipping the score and taking the victory. In the game’s final 3 minutes and 47 seconds, the Bulls scored a mediocre 1 point and just 4 points in the last 4 minutes and 45 seconds.

Coming off of one of his best games of the season, Zach LaVine was held in check by the Miami Heat. LaVine scored just 15 points shooting an abysmal 28.5% from the field. After his massive game against the Raptors, fans expected him to pick up where he left off, but he failed to perform in the elimination game. DeMar DeRozan played well, scoring 26 points on 47% shooting, and Alex Caruso added 16 points, shooting 54.5% from the field, but that wasn’t enough for the Bulls to hurdle over the Heat’s strong defense.

On the other hand, Coby White scored 14 points, shooting 50% from the field and 66% from beyond the arch. White his two massive three-pointers down the stretch for the Bulls but was subbed out of the game for Patrick Beverley for defensive purposes. A poor decision by Billy Donovan as the Bulls failed to find offensive rhythm following the substitution. White’s play surely has made him a priority for the Bulls’ front office to re-sign this offseason.

Another upcoming free agent (pending player option) who deserves the attention of Arturas Karnisovas and the front office is Andre Drummond. Drummond has been an excellent rebounder and paint presence for the Bulls this season. In Miami, Drummond grabbed eight rebounds and scored 6 points in just 10 minutes. Drummond averaged the most rebounds per minute in the league during the season at 0.52. Unfortunately for Drummond, Vucevic is given most of the center minutes every night, limiting his minutes which could factor into his decision this offseason.

Photo: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

With the season coming to a wrap, Chicago must turn their attention to the offseason, where the decisions to re-sign Coby White, Derrick Jones Jr (player option), Ayo Dosunmu, Patrick Beverley, Andre Drummond (player option), Javonte Green, and Nikola Vucevic await. The Orlando Magic owns Chicago’s first-round pick unless it falls into the top 4, but the pick is currently projected to fall just outside of the top 10. Arturas Karnisovas must also decide whether he sees the core of the current roster as a championship-caliber team or if retooling is the next step.

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