In a week that could’ve ended up much better, the Chicago Bulls fell flat on and off the court. Sure, we could focus on the positives of Jimmy Butler being named an All-Star reserve, as well as… well, I guess it’s a little harder to come up with a second positive that I thought.
Kirk Hinrich’s return from his injury? Or maybe E’Twaun Moore’s new-found role in the starting line-up after reducing Tony Snell’s playing time? Any way you look at it, a lot of the Bulls’ storylines are pretty pathetic following the likely season-ending injury of Joakim Noah, and the rest of the battered and bruised players the Bulls have to keep sitting.
Nikola Mirotic will probably be out until the All-Star Break is over after he got his appendix taken out. With Derrick Rose, who knows how long he can stay healthy for? Yes, it’s unfortunately come to that, but it’s what everybody else is thinking too, right?
But this was supposed to be an easy week for the Bulls, featuring games against the hapless Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, and then capping it off with a Sunday matinee against the Los Angeles Clippers who are still embroiled in their own scandal following Blake Griffin’s recent violent outburst against an equipment manager. So how do we end up looking at a 1-2 record here?
Well for one thing, when Dwayne Wade gets hot, he’s still a force to be reckoned with. He ended up scoring 28 points with seven rebounds in the Bulls 89-84 loss. Meanwhile, Rose only scored four points in 13 minutes, and Snell and Taj Gibson combined for only 11 points despite starting and playing nearly 30 minutes each. Luckily the team rebounded against the Lakers, but it’s hard to lose to a team that hasn’t even won 10 games yet, so that one should’ve been a “gimmie” regardless.
But what really irritated me was how the Bulls completely collapsed down the stretch against the Clippers on Sunday afternoon. The Bulls were only down by four points when the second half started, but somehow they ended up losing to the beleaguered Clippers by a score 120-93. Definitely a blowout, almost losing by 30 points.
It’s like the fire just got sapped out of the Bulls’ eyes. I have to say, watching this team right now is very frustrating. I feel like I’m watching the 2015 White Sox all over again. A team that was supposed to do well, but fell horribly short. With the Bulls though, they’re stuck in some kind of limbo. They’ll still make the playoffs, no doubt, but what’s the point when they’ve proved time and time again they can’t be consistent, and the only way you’re going to win a seven game series is if you remain consistent? Rough times await us Bulls fans, you better just hope you’re hardy enough to hang on. It’s only going to get worse before it gets better again.
Last Week: lost to Miami 89-84; defeated Los Angeles Lakers 114-91; lost to Los Angeles Clippers 120-93.
Next Week: Monday at Utah; Wednesday at Sacramento; Friday at Denver; Saturday at Minnesota.
Who’s Hot: Jimmy Butler
Butler just keeps doing what he does best, and he rightfully got an All-Star spot because of it.
Who’s Not: Tony Snell
Snell has not been looking so hot lately, and it seems like Moore might finally take his spot in the starting lineup until the Bulls get over some of these injuries. And then, who knows what Snell’s status in the rotation might be.