Wowza! This week feels likes its been several years long, and I’ve posted a lot so let’s make this one brief.
The Bulls were a surprising 1-2, with a great win against the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night (125-106). It was the first game after the trade deadline, and our first look at Otto Porter Jr. as a Bull. He scored 18 points in 33 minutes, shooting 77.8% from the field. He was as good as advertised, stretching the defense, forcing a defender to stay with him on the perimeter because of his deadly 3 point shooting (4-5, 80%). This allowed teammates, specifically Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen, to attack the basket at will. It’s amazing how much better the offense looks when you have the correct parts working in the right places.
The joy of victory was short lived, however, as the Bulls were soundly defeated by the Washington Wizards last night (134-125). The quick return of Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker after last Wednesday’s trade was a little unsettling. Hearing Neil Funk call out rebounds and buckets for the two former Bulls was too familiar, and it proved difficult keeping the newly old feelings of excitement for their success in check. “They’re on the other team now,” I kept reminding myself. “I don’t want Bobby to get that rebound. I shouldn’t be cheering for Jabari jamming that one home.”
Oh, I forgot to mention how the week started on Wednesday with an obnoxious loss to the New Orleans Pelicans (125-120). With the threat of the trade deadline looming, Anthony Davis, Niko Mirotic, and several other Pelicans sitting out, and the trade of Parker and Portis just an hour or two before tip-off, things quickly devolved into a pick up game of park ball. Guys were chucking up shots from all over, nobody really played any defense. It wasn’t a great game for either team. Somehow the Bulls managed to lose to a Jrue Holiday and a bunch of dudes. How about we call that one a Tank win?
MVP of the Week: Lauri Markkanen (3)
Markkanen has been on a roll, notching a number of 30+ point games and 6 double-doubles in his last 7 games. In fact, he led the Bulls in rebounding in each of this weeks games. Enough babbling here are some highlights…
Win Share Leaders: Chasing Dickey Simpkins (2.9)
1. Ryan Arcidiacono 2.3
2. Carter Jr & LaVine 1.9
3. Lauri Markkanen 1.8
Tank Standings: The Worst Records in the NBA
1. New York Knicks 10-45 .182
2. Phoenix Suns 11-46 .193
3. Cleveland Cavaliers 11-45 .196
4. Chicago Bulls 13-43 .232
The Bulls have two games left before the All-Star break. Lauri Markkanen is the lone Bull representing Chicago next weekend. He will play in the Rising Stars game on Friday, February 15th. I plan on writing my usual Wednesday and Sunday posts this week, but the following week, I will take Wednesday off. Let’s hope the Bulls finish these last two games strong and come back from the All-Star break refreshed and hungry for wins. Thanks for reading and Go Bulls!