The Chicago Bulls were so bad on Wednesday night in the season opener that one of their best young players felt the need to apologize to his teammates.
Much is expected from Wendell Carter Jr. and quite honestly, he failed to deliver in any way on Wednesday night. Clearly aware of how poorly he played in the season opener, which resulted in a 124-104 loss at home to the Atlanta Hawks, Carter apologized to his teammates for his part in the poor showing.
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Carter Jr: ‘I Apologized to My Teammates’
During the postgame meeting with the media, Carter was open and honest about his performance and very accountable for his play.
“We just didn’t come to play as a team… I just gotta do better and do what I do best. I just apologized to my teammates for the effort I showed tonight. I will be better for our team.”
Carter had just 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 turnovers in the game. His defense was lackluster, but he wasn’t alone in that area of futility. The Bulls surrendered a whopping 83 points in the first half.
The Hawks shot a blazing 53.8% from the field and that was the final number which dropped from the mid-60s most of the game. The Bulls defense was horrible all over the court, but it was at its worst in the paint.
The Bulls gave up 50 points in the paint, and much of that falls on Carter Jr. as the man in the middle.
Carter Jr. Appears to Be in an Identity Crisis
There was something else Carter said after the game that should really resonate with Bulls fans. Per NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson, he said:
“I just didn’t show effort. I felt myself just being a step slow, I felt myself just worrying about the wrong things.”
Carter appears to be far too concerned with expanding his offensive game and not focused on honing the skills that made him a promising–though oft-injured–young player. On Wednesday night–and dare I say all season–the Bulls will need Carter’s defense, rebounding, and finishing near the rim more than the three-point shot he’s been unsuccessfully trying to add to his game.
Perhaps this is what he meant by “worrying about the wrong things.”
Positive Adjustment at the Start of the Second Half
There weren’t a ton of positives to take from such a one-sided loss, but it was good to see Carter head directly to the post for the first play of the second half.
It seemed clear that was an offensive focus for him to get back to the basics. Hopefully, for his sake and the rest of the team, he looks to get back to his strengths in the Bulls’ next game against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
Carter cannot afford to deliver another performance like the one he gave on Wednesday.
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