What a sad road trip this has been. The Bulls are on a 6 game losing streak with 4 of those losses coming on the road to Western Conference powerhouses. It’s not unexpected. The Bulls have been unable to beat playoff contending teams this entire season, but there was hope that they might catch one of the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns or Utah Jazz napping, and steal a victory. They didn’t. The Bulls are now 19-28 on the season. They still sit in the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference, 1 game in front of the Toronto Raptors, but 2.5 games back of the 9th seeded Indiana Pacers.
This upcoming week will be crucial for staying in the playoff race. The Bulls have games against the Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers, Toronto Raptors, and Atlanta Hawks. If the new look Bulls are ever going to gel into a cohesive winning team, this is the week to do it.
One bright spot to emerge over the last four games, the Bulls are turning the ball over less than they were before the trade. The Bulls have been averaging 15.7 turnovers per game, since Nikola Vucevic, Daniel Theis, et al, arrived that number has dropped to 12.8 per game, and I expect it to fall even further. The combination of Tomas Satoransky taking over the point guard duties, Nikola Vucevic having better hands than Wendell Carter Jr, and a much more decisive group of passers on the court at the same time, has led to the drop in turnovers. Assists and offensive rebounds per game are both up as well.
The biggest problem area on offense for the Bulls has been their 3 point shooting: 26.9% over the last 4 games. That’s atrocious, and it’s really hurt them over the course of this road trip. If they had shot their normal 37% from 3 point range, they probably would have beaten both the Suns and the Jazz. I don’t know this to be true, but whenever I see a dip in shooting numbers I always expect fatigue to be the culprit. Between being on the road, and trying to incorporate new players into the scheme, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that players are tired, physically and emotionally. I’m not sure how much of a return to form we’ll see over the next week, as 5 out of the next 6 games for the Bulls are on the road. It’s something to keep an eye on.
That’s all I have for you this week. Happy Easter, happy belated Passover, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!