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The Bulls lost an important game against the New York Knicks Monday night. It was a “must lose” in the ongoing Tankathon, giving the Bulls a 1.5 game cushion on the Knicks for the 8th worst record in the NBA. Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Zach LaVine continued to rest from their various ailments, leaving their teammates to shoulder the tanking responsibilities in New York.

Cristiano Felicio was the surprise player of the game. He scored 17 points (a new career high), collected 6 rebounds, and blocked 1 shot. Bobby Portis and Antonio Blakeney each added 16 points to the pitiful Bulls effort. Cameron Payne led the team in assists with 6. It was a pure tank job through and through: New York Knicks 110 and the Bulls 92.

The Bulls are now 1.5 games out of the 7th worst record, currently held by the Brooklyn Nets, and 2 games back of the 6th worst record, owned by the Sacramento Kings. It may be possible for our tanking heroes to slide even further down the standings! The next three games for the Bulls feature teams fighting for playoff spots. They will face the Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks at home, before traveling to Detroit to compete against the Pistons.

Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Nets have a difficult schedule ahead of them with games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors this upcoming weekend. But with no incentive to tank, having traded away this years 1st round draft pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Nets may surprise these two powerhouse teams, especially if Toronto decides to rest key players for the playoffs, and the Cavs continue to nurse injuries.

The good news comes when we look at Sacramento’s future opponents. Two out of the next three games for the Kings are against the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks. If the Kings aren’t careful they could win both of those games. And if the Bulls lose three in a row, they could slide right past Sacramento in the standings! That should be the Bulls tank goal this next week; catch the Sacramento Kings in the standings. It’s completely achievable.

Injury News:

Kris Dunn has suffered a minor setback to his injured toe and will miss more games. Lauri Markkanen should play in the next game, his back is feeling better. Zach LaVine has rested his knee the last couple of games, so, like Lauri, he should be ready to play against the Nuggets. I say LaVine and Markkanen “should” be ready for the Nuggets, but as K.C. Johnson’s tweet says, it’s a “collective decision.”

Insulting the Injured…

 

The Worst Records in the NBA:

1. Phoenix Suns 19-53 .264

2. Memphis Grizzlies 19-51 .271

3. Atlanta Hawks and Orlando Magic 21-50 .296

5. Dallas Mavericks 22-49 .310

6. Sacramento Kings 23-49 .319

7. Brooklyn Nets 23-48 .324

8. Chicago Bulls 24-46 .343

9. New York Knicks 26-45 .366