I was very tempted to write an April Fool’s article today, despairing of the new look Bulls and begging the Round Table to trade Zach LaVine on draft night for a boatload of picks, but I refrained. I’ve never liked being pranked, so why make others go through that. Also, I’m not sure a Zach LaVine trade in the offseason isn’t still a real possibility. Sure, we’ve got two All-Stars on the roster now, but are they the two All-Stars Arturas and Eversley want?
Believe it or not, I’ve been encouraged by what I’ve seen from the Bulls over this 5 game losing streak. With the losses coming during the toughest part of the schedule and a period of roster transition, I’m much more forgiving of the crap we’re seeing on the court. Even before the trade, the Bulls weren’t going to win the last three games, and any win that comes in this 10 game stretch after the trade deadline is a good win.
It’s been a very uneven three games since the trade deadline, as the Bulls try to incorporate 5 new players onto the roster and into the rotation. Zach LaVine being hurt (ankle sprain) certainly hasn’t helped matters, but I’ve liked what I’ve seen from Nikola Vucevic and Daniel Theis. They fit well with Thaddeus Young, Tomas Satoransky, Patrick Williams, and even Lauri Markkanen, especially on the offensive end of the court. Both Vooch and Theis are willing passers, and coupled with “Thadgic Johnson,” it really allows the Bulls offense to flow.
Maybe more important than his passing prowess, Vucevic is nearly unstoppable in the post. He is money from anywhere within ten feet of the hoop. Early Captain Obvious observation: The Bulls need to get him the ball in the post more often, maybe as often as every single possession he’s on the court.
Defense is the big deficiency of this squad. The Bulls seem incapable of getting a stop. Opponents are scoring at will. Inside, outside, it doesn’t matter where, teams are taking advantage of the indecisiveness of defenders and are racking up the points. It’s gotten a little better over the last 3 games, but the new look Bulls are still an ugly mess on defense. Besides from a couple Theis blocks and this P. Will gem, there hasn’t been much the Bulls can hang their hats on…
I know the playoffs have been on the mind of most of the fan base, and with the latest editions to the roster, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the Bulls make it this season. BUT. This is still a season of evaluation. There are still roster decisions to be made this offseason. I’m sure a trip to the playoffs will be incredibly helpful for the Round Table as they continue to evaluate the Bulls, but it will be equally telling if they don’t make it at all.
I think the point I really want to hammer home with this post today is that there is no need to panic. The play on the court has, and will, get better. The team will gel, not only on the offensive end of the court but also the defensive end. The Bulls will start winning games, and I believe they will even beat teams with winning records. It’s going to happen, the Bulls are now too talented for it NOT to happen.
Until the Bulls do beat an above .500 team, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!