The Chicago Bulls are on a three-game skid ahead of a matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers. As a result of the three-game skid, combined with the surging Washington Wizards, the Bulls have quickly found themselves dropping out of the playoff race altogether.
According to fivethirtyeight.com, the Bulls now have a less than one percent chance of making the NBA playoffs this season. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise as the team currently sits three games behind the Wizards with both teams having eight games remaining.
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It still is a tough pill to swallow for a team that seemed to get significantly better at the NBA trade deadline by adding players like all-star center Nikola Vucevic. As reality sets in, the Bulls will need to look at evaluating their talent ahead of an important offseason instead of pushing to win each and every game this season.
That isn’t easy to accept but will help the team prepare for the offseason and everything that is going to come with it. Players like Lauri Markkanen appear halfway out the door already, but what about Denzel Valentine? The Bulls focus should be shifting as their new reality sets in.
While some may argue the less than one percent chance means it is still possible, and technically they would be correct, it is clear this Bulls team isn’t going to get the wins needed let alone get the help they would also need from the Wizards.
Chicago Bulls need to be looking ahead
There is no reason to regret the deadline moves. They were never about this season no matter what some will try to argue. Part of their benefit was the instant improvement that was expected but in no way was that the driving force behind getting a deal done.
Outside of some lottery luck, the Bulls won’t be on the clock for their own draft pick this offseason. That will make finding talent in the second round that much more important, and they could target some international prospects to get the talent they desire.
Regardless of how they do over their final eight games of the season, the door is nearly completely shut on a playoff appearance. It is disappointing for Bulls fans but important that it does not make their big trade deadline a failure.
Being patient is key, and next season will be the true measuring stick of where the organization is moving forward. It’s understandable to be frustrated, and the players in the organization should be frustrated themselves.
As we currently stand, the Chicago Bulls will be watching the NBA Playoffs from home like the rest of us.