TANK ALERT!!! TANK ALERT!!!
With a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers (104-101), the reemergence of Cristiano Felicio in the rotation, and minor injuries forcing players (Zach LaVine) to skip back-to-backs, it’s time to bring back the Tank Standings…
The Worst Records in the NBA:
1. New York Knicks 10-41 .196
2. Phoenix Suns 11-43 .204
3. Cleveland Cavaliers 11-42 .208
4. Chicago Bulls 12-41 .226
5. Atlanta Hawks 17-35 .327
The New York Knicks are tanking hard. They’ve lost 12 games in a row, traded away injured superstar Kristaps Porzingis, and freed up almost enough cap space to sign two superstar free agents this summer to max deals. Good for them.
Meanwhile, the Bulls have shown the spark of competitiveness over the last week of play. Every loss this week was decided by less than 10 points, and the Bulls snuck a victory out from under the noses of the Miami Heat on Wednesday (105-89).
MVP of the Week: Bobby Portis
Bobby Portis got hot in Miami on Wednesday and stayed hot through the Saturday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets. Against the Heat, Portis scored 26 points providing energy off the bench propelling the Bulls to an unlikely victory. He followed that performance up by dropping 33 points on the Hornets, 28 of those points came in the first half. The Bulls jumped out to a 60-51 half-time lead, but watched it slip away in the 3rd and 4th quarters as Kemba “El Matador” Walker killed the Bulls with his quickness. Walker scored 37 points in the game, 15 of which came in the 4th quarter. But we’re here to talk about Portis, not Kemba. Bobby added 9 rebounds and 2 steals to his all around effort. He was so dominate that the Hornets had to triple team him in the 2nd half, it was the only way they could stop him. Unfortunately, that strategy worked, Portis was only able to add 5 points to his 1st half total, but it was still one of the best performances of his career.
The runner up to this weeks MVP is Wayne Selden. He has been a reliable source of production ever since he came over from the Memphis Grizzlies in the Justin Holiday trade. Selden had 20 points and 8 assists against Miami and was a key factor in the Bulls win. He had a statement dunk and nailed some important threes coming down the stretch of that game. Credit where credit is due, Wayne Selden has been a good pick up by the GarPax.
Zach LaVine missed Wednesday’s win against the Heat resting his nagging ankle, and was a game time decision yesterday against Charlotte. Jabari Parker missed last nights game against the Hornets due to a death in his family. No one has said yet if he will be available for Wednesdays game against the New Orleans Pelicans.
With Jabari out, Cristiano Felicio got into the Bulls rotation against Charlotte. He played 12 minutes with 4 points and 2 rebounds. His plus/minus was a whopping +6, because the 12 minutes he played mostly coincided with Portis dominating the game. We’ll see if there is any room left in the rotation for Cris when Parker inevitably returns.
It’s time for Bulls fans to welcome the newest member of this rag-tag team, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. The Bulls are TLC’s third team in his 3 seasons of play. He is a native of France, was drafted 24th overall by the Philadelphia ‘76ers in the 2016 draft. He was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder after the 2017-18 season, and is now a Bull after being dumped by OKC in a bid to shed salary. He comes over to the Bulls in a deal very similar to the recent trades with the Houston Rockets.
The Bulls get Luwawu-Cabarrot and cash, the Thunder get a heavily protected, future 2nd round draft pick that will probably never convey. The difference between this trade and the swaps with the Rockets is that it looks like the Bulls are going to give TLC a chance to play with the team. He is a young, 6’6” 210 lbs. wing player, who has under performed in his career, but has the length and athleticism expected in a modern NBA player. The Bulls are taking a flier and I’m up for it. Luwawu-Cabarrot was always a bit of a long shot to stick in the NBA, but going into the 2016 draft, he was a player I hoped the Bulls would take a serious look at.
Now I guess they’ll get their chance.
In order for the Luwawu-Cabarrot trade to happen, the Bulls needed to open up a roster spot, they did this by waiving Carmelo Anthony. The king is dead, long live the king.
Win Share Leaders: Chasing Dickey Simpkins (2.9)
1. Ryan Arcidiacono 2.3 (After being stuck on 2.0 for weeks, Arch is making a move!)
2. Wendell Carter Jr. 2.0
3. Zach LaVine 1.5
That’s all for this weeks update. I plan on doing a Trade Deadline Post this Wednesday, with possible scenarios and rumor updates ahead of Thursday’s deadline. If the Bulls make any significant moves, I’ll probably write a post about it on Friday. Until then, thanks for reading and don’t go chasing waterfalls!