The Chicago Bulls have been terrible to start the regular season. After a great draft, and a strong free agency and preseason, this team looked like it had the pieces to at least improve by ten wins. Early indications are that this won’t be the case. What’s going on with this team and if it continues what are the consequences?
The Chicago Bulls have been terrible. Plain and simple, they have sucked. They have one win that wasn’t comprehensive and even though they’ve had good leads in the other games they’ve blown these with horrendous play in crunch time.
The personnel shouldn’t a problem. Between Zach LaVine, Otto Porter, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr they have a strong enough core that they can win games against weaker opposition. Especially in the eastern conference. Teams like the Cavaliers, Hornets and Knicks are realistically the worst three teams in the league. Though they may have won some games and upset more fancied opponents, they don’t have the calibre of players that the Bulls have. When you add in Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky and Coby White they have enough strong NBA rotation players that they should be performing well on a nightly basis.
It may be an overreaction to say that someone will be traded or fired. But, its year three of the rebuild. After two terrible years everyone is a bit older and ( should be ) wiser. They have brought in vets like Satoransky and Young. LaVine is on his second NBA deal as is Porter. These guys aren’t young anymore. Its conceivable if things continue down this road that there could be changes. If they continue to execute like this on both ends then there should be consequences.
The execution on both ends has been terrible, especially down the stretch. It is a small sample, but there are eight players shooting 40% or under from the field. Markkanen and Porter are both excellent three-point shooters, Porter has been in the top five in the league twice for full seasons. Between them they are an abysmal 22 percent from long-range, only hitting on 12 of 54 attempts. Looking back at the end of game situations, it seems something is amiss with this team.
The defensive rotations have been poor on a lot of occasions and the decision-making has been the same on the other end. End of game situations turn to selfish iso ball plays where players end up taking tough fade away’s or deep threes early in the clock. On both ends players are going missing and there’s really no excuse for it.
If we thought the shooting was bad, the rebounding has been even worse. The Bulls are currently last in defensive rebounding percentage, 26th in total rebounds made and second to last in defensive rebounds made. In the Cavaliers loss they got eviscerated by Tristan Thompson and Kevin Love. Though this is obviously a tough matchup on the glass, great rebounder’s for their position like Porter and Satoransky are so far under their career averages and have struggled to even locate the out of area rebounds that are required of them.
Simple box outs aren’t happening and this is leading to a lot of second chance points for weak shooting teams.
Is there a solution for this stinker of a start to the season? With a tougher next week in the schedule its likely that the record gets worse before it gets better. If the Bulls are one and nine in two weeks, serious questions will be asked of people both on and off the court. After a lot was promised on media day and in the offseason this team has really disappointed.
Maybe they recover next week and beat more fancied teams like the Pistons, Pacers or Lakers. This would be a great result and would get the season back on track. Failing this, heads could roll. No one wants to see people getting fired or traded but after the poor start this is on the cards if things don’t improve. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that!