The Chicago Bulls are in the midst of a 4 game slide, with little sign of it stopping. This was what I was worried about last week, the fact that the Bulls haven’t figured out how to beat playoff teams. With losses to Memphis, Miami, Atlanta, and Milwaukee, the Bulls continue to feel like pretenders in the East. Maybe the solution is as simple as just adding a healthy Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball, and Patrick Williams back into the lineup, but I’m having a hard time believing that’s all it takes.

The impact of Ball and Caruso on the Bulls and the defense they play, shouldn’t be understated (shout out to expert troll and Chicago Sun-Times beat reporter Joe Cowley), but I don’t think we need to overstate it as well. They are two very good players and the Bulls are a much better team when they are on the court. Still, I wonder if the addition of their play would have been enough to beat Atlanta or Milwaukee this past week, if the combined efforts of Caruso and Ball could change the course of the last 4 games.

We’ll never know. And until they do return, we’ll be left wondering what could have been and what might be yet to come.

What is certain is that the Bulls have yet another matchup against the formidable Joel Embiid, James Harden, and the rest of the Philadelphia ’76ers in Philly on Monday night. Then the Bulls take a quick jog up to Detroit for a game with the Pistons on Wednesday night. The Bulls finish the week back home on Saturday against the hated Cleveland Cavaliers.

It bears repeating that the rest of this season will not be a cake-walk for the Bulls. They’ve slid from 1st to 4th place in the Eastern Conference in just a little over a week. They need to figure somethings out fast, before they slide all the way down into the play-in tournament. Until they do, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!