The Bulls went 2-2 this past week, surprising the Boston Celtics with a solid win, dropping an “easy” one to the Cleveland Cavaliers, bouncing back with a victory over the Charlotte Hornets, and ending with a comeback-that-fell-short loss to the Miami Heat. After all of that, the Bulls record stands at 25-35. They have slipped to the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference, 1.5 games behind the Washington Wizards for the final play-in spot. With a dozen games left in the season, time is running out for a Bulls playoff run.
At the beginning of the season, I set out three modest win totals for the Bulls to aim for. This week, the Bulls met two of those three goals. Modest Goal #1 (23 wins) was actually achieved at the end of last week. The Bulls insured they will have a larger win total than last season. By achieving Modest Goal #2 (25 wins) they will finish this season with a better winning percentage than last season. Now all that remains is the 28 wins of Modest Goal #3, which would be the best single season win total since the Jimmy Butler trade. You might be thinking, “3 wins in 12 games, surely the Bulls can do that!” Unfortunately, over the course of the next 12 games the Bulls only have two opponents below them in the standings, the rest of the teams they will face are playoff or play-in bound.
With Zach LaVine still sidelined due to the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, and a murderers row of playoff caliber opponents in front of them, the rest of the season is looking bleak for the Bulls. There is the possibility that they might run into a few teams that decide to rest their superstars for the playoffs, but the Bulls have proven to us that they can lose to shorthanded squads.
The Bulls start their gauntlet this week, with rematch against the Heat on Monday, and games against the red hot New York Knicks on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, and the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday. It’s going to be rough.
I wish there was some sort of hope I could give, but I’m very skeptical that a playoff run for this Bulls team is achievable. Maybe if Zach comes back. Maybe if Coby White continues to play well. Maybe if the Bulls continue to ratchet up the defensive intensity. Maybe if they get the ball to Nikola Vucevic in the post more often. Maybe then they’ll make the playoffs.
Until all those “maybe ifs” happen, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!