Just like a King at the end of a Chess match, the Bulls were unable to make a move at the NBA Trade Deadline, adding yet another layer of frustration to the already multi-layered frustration cake that is this season. Let’s get into it…
The Look Back:
The Bulls were 0-2 last week. They lost to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday in Canada, 129 – 102. Terence Davis (who?) scored 31 points off the bench for the Raptors, while Zach LaVine had his 17 game streak of scoring more than 20 points broken (he only scored 18).
Thursday, back in Chicago, the Bulls were clobbered by the New Orleans Pelicans, 125 – 119. The big story from this game was Adam Mokoka’s 15 points on a perfect 6/6 from the field in the last 5 minutes of the game. Mokoka is on a 2-way G-League contract with the Bulls and tends to play in garbage time of blowouts. Thursday was more of the same for Mokoka, he just got hot from beyond the arc and made an ugly loss slightly more palatable.
No Moves Left to Make:
The real news from this past week was that the Trade Deadline came and went with no movement from the Bulls. John Paxson addressed the media before Thursday’s game against the Pelicans and “explained” why the Bulls were not involved in any trades. “Just given the fact the roster and the way we have it right now and the fact we’ve had kind of a disjointed year with injuries. We weren’t going to trade Zach, Lauri, Wendell, Coby because we don’t know what we have yet and we need to see. And we’ve known that all year long.”
Okay, so the Front Office didn’t want to trade the “core” pieces of the rebuild because Injuries, and they don’t know what they have.
THEY DON’T KNOW WHAT THE HAVE???!!!
That’s some real shitty self-evaluation going on right there John!
I’ll grant Paxson the truth of his statement regarding the rookie Coby White, but Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine are in their 3rd season with the Bulls, Wendell Carter Jr is in season #2, how do you not know what these guys can do on the basketball court? I guess he hasn’t been watching every fucking game like a certain blogger shlub I know. How can you have players on your roster for multiple seasons and not have an inkling about their game? Either John Paxson is lying to us or he isn’t fit to run the team.
I’m not even that upset that they couldn’t move on from core players or guys like Thadd Young, Kris Dunn, or Denzel Valentine. I like the Bulls roster as it is, and I think it’s fully capable of being a playoff team right now. It’s just the idiotic excuses the Front Office come up with to justify perfectly reasonable decisions, that drive me up the wall. Repeat after me John: “We believe this team is better than what we’ve seen this season, and there wasn’t a trade available that would improve this roster.” Just tell the truth, it’s that simple.
The lying, the excuses, the incompetence, one of these straws has got to break the camels back at some point, right?
MVP of Week 16: Chandler Hutchison
Hutch has continued to play solid basketball since returning to the lineup from his most recent injury. He is now a starter, and he dropped 17 points with 5 rebounds against the Raptors, and followed that up with 16 points and 8 rebounds against the Pelicans.
Hutch has been very aggressive driving the ball to the hoop, looking for easy buckets in the paint. He has also shown the ability to draw fouls while driving to the basket; he had 9 free throw attempts in the game against the Raptors and 8 against the Pelicans.
Hutchison’s in-flight body control is one of the most improved parts of his game. If you can remember back to a season ago, and the amount of offensive fouls that would be called against Hutch for barreling down the lane, out of control, and smashing into a set defender, it’s different this season. Hutch still barrels into the lane, making contact with the defender, but now he has the ability to twist himself mid-jump forcing the defender to move out of position and commit the foul. If Hutch can work on his shot this summer, the Bulls might have a legitimate wing threat both on the offensive and defensive ends of the court.
The Look Ahead:
It’s two road games and All-Star weekend for the Bulls this week. They kick things off in Philadelphia Sunday, today, with an evening game against the scuffling ‘76ers. Philly has won just one of their last five games, and their two big men, Joel Embiid and Al Horford are questionable for today’s game with the Bulls. There’s a chance this turns into a victory for the Bulls.
Tuesday, the Bulls face off against the lowly Washington Wizards. This is another potential “W,” and could provide a nice lift in spirits going into the All-Star break.
Zach LaVine will be the lone Chicago representative at the All-Star game. LaVine is competing in the 3 Point Contest, hoping to make history by becoming the first player to win both the Dunk and 3 Point competitions. Wendell Carter Jr was invited to the Rising Stars game, but his injury will force him to sit out.
That’s it for this week. We’ll see if the Front Office can magically learn how to evaluate NBA talent before the season ends. Until they do, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!