The 2015-16 season was a huge disappointment for the Chicago Bulls, but for a fanbase starved for reasons for optimism, Monday night could provide a scrumptious buffet.
That’s because the Bulls will be looking to wrap up an undefeated run at the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas as they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in the championship game of the tournament.
The Bulls secured their spot in the title game with a victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night. The victory, their sixth in a row, came thanks to several huge individual efforts, led by Christiano Felicio’s 18 points and six rebounds in the contest.
Bobby Portis also had a big night for the Bulls, with 16 points and nine rebounds, and 2016 first round pick Denzel Valentine nearly had a double-double as he chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds in the victory.
Portis, the Bulls’ first round pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, has had a monster tournament for the squad, averaging 15.8 points and 9.3 rebounds per game in the six games the Bulls have played. The team as a whole, largely considered to be one of the favorites to do well because of their depth and versatility, has been as good as advertised, with Portis and Valentine being joined by players like Jerian Grant, whom the Bulls acquired in the June swap that sent Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks.
The Bulls’ opponent on Monday night has had a far less dominant path to the championship game, as the Timberwolves come into the contest with a 4-3 record. They did manage to beat Tyler Ullis and the Phoenix Suns on Sunday thanks to huge games from Tyus Jones, who scored 29 points, and Toure Murry, who led the way with seven assists as they registered a 93-83 win.
The game will begin at 8 p.m. Central time, with coverage airing on ESPN 2.