Antonio Blakeney spikes the fast-break dunk
Despite the Chicago Bulls’ miserable record to begin the year, one rookie is quietly piecing together a solid season in The Windy City. First-year combo Antonio Blakeney hasn’t offered much in terms of playmaking with the ball in his hands, but on Tuesday’s matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers, he made the highlight of the game.
The athletic shooter kept his head up during a scramble for the ball, and off of a perfectly placed outlet passed, made a beeline to the basket and rose up to throw down the posterizing jam over defender Julius Randle.
Following the highflying display, Blakeney was hit with a technical foul for staring down the Los Angeles forward and shooting some choice words his way. His celebration was more than a bit boneheaded, but when your team’s season is going down the drain, it feels nice to be able to flex on your opponents for once.
Behind the play of surprise rookie Kyle Kuzma and offseason signing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the Lakers erased a 14 point lead and exploited a sputtering Bulls’ offense. Los Angeles was the victim of poor play yet again, but coming out of halftime they righted the ship to find their way to an improbable 103-94 victory over Chicago.
Both teams showcased the inconsistency and immaturity that’s landed them in the position they’re in now. Even with talented pieces across their rosters, Chicago and Los Angeles are in no position to even think about sniffing the playoffs.
There are several bright spots for the two storied franchises, but for now they should keep an eye towards the future. Their youngsters aren’t quite ready to take over the league, but give them time to ripen and they might just bloom into something beautiful.