The Chicago Bulls had a great week coming off the All-Star Break. They won two out of three games, including one against the lowly Lakers and all-time great Kobe Bryant, and managed to keep their spot in the playoff standings intact.
If those two sentences make you sick, then know that this would be indicative of the syrupy writings of a fan who is always looking at the bright side of things. A fan who can’t say anything bad about this Bulls team. In other words… this is a Bulls fan that does not exist. The Bulls, “despite” beating an aged Kobe Bryant, and “despite” winning two of three games to hold onto the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference are falling apart. Their 29-26 record is an embarrassment, and this team and front office should be ashamed at the product they’re putting out on the court. Obviously, at this point, I’m far from being that elusive fan thinking everything is just downright peachy.
So let’s at least talk about what’s happened in the last few games. The Bulls are 3-7 over their last 10, and in the past week they failed to defeat one of the conference’s elite teams in the Cleveland Cavaliers, but avoided being humiliated by defeating the lowly Los Angeles Lakers and the second-seed Toronto Raptors. So at least we know every dog gets its day by the win over the Raptors. Still, one can’t be happy with the team’s overall play. Just look at the numbers.
The starters seem to be incapable of scoring. Mike Dunleavey, just back from his time on the injured reserve, struggles to score in the double digits. E’Twaun Moore keeps getting chances to play and start, but even though he went crazy against the Los Angeles Lakers, he’s definitely not starting material, along with Taj Gibson who continues to disappoint with his five- and seven-point efforts becoming more the norm than the exception. At least Derrick Rose has been quietly picking up some slack in Jimmy Butler’s absence, but it never should’ve gotten to this point to begin with. For a team that was supposed to be Rose’s, he sure doesn’t act like it is.
It’s easy to complain about this team. I could go on and talk about the horrible decisions the front office is making, and the head-scratching trade (and complete lack of others) we saw at the trade deadline. But there’s plenty of talk out there dealing with that. What really grinds my gears is seeing the team that’s out there walk around in a never-ending limbo; doomed to repeat the same one-and-done playoff series we’ve seen the last several years.
Something needs to be changed. Not just management, but attitude. Competitiveness. Tenacity. Whatever other intangible you want to throw out there. If you want to bring it up, it’s safe to say the Bulls don’t have it. I hate being this way, I really do. Even I didn’t think it’d get this bad. The Bulls are only two and a half games up on the ninth-place team in the conference going into Tuesday’s games. That’s unacceptable. Perhaps it’s time to let Bulls fans make it known that this perpetual mediocrity has to end now. A clean slate is long past due.
Last Week: lost to Cleveland 106-95 defeated Toronto 116-106; defeated Los Angeles Lakers 126-115.
Next Week: Wednesday vs. Washington; Friday at Atlanta; Saturday vs. Portland.
Who’s Hot: Doug McDermott
Looks like the sophomore is starting to really come around in recent weeks, with a 30 point effort against Toronto. He still needs to work on defense, but now we can see why the Bulls traded up in the draft to get him in the first place.
Who’s Not: Taj Gibson
Even though Gibson has been starting lately, he isn’t showing himself worthy of the spt. His scoring rarely seems to get into double digits, and his board crashing on the offensive side leaves something to be desired.