Do you feel lucky, punk (a.k.a. Bulls)?
After taking on the Miami Heat at the United Center tonight, Chicago will not play another team with a winning record until December 8th.
Check it out:
Bulls Upcoming Schedule:
- 11/23 – Charlotte Hornets (6-9)
- 11/25 – Portland Trail Blazers (5-11)
- 11/27 – Golden State Warriors (3-13)
- 11/29 – Portland Trail Blazers (5-11)
- 12/2 – Sacramento Kings (6-7)
- 12/4 – Memphis Grizzlies (5-9)
- 12/6 – Golden State Warriors (3-13)
Normally, facing the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers four times in a seven-game span would mean four losses, but both teams are suffering from their fair share of issues.
Stephen Curry, D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green, Kevon Looney, and several other Warriors have been bitten by the injury bug this season, and it appears the organization may be in full tank mode. As for Portland, the team just looks lost. Damian Lillard has been battling a recent back injury, but other than that, the team has simply been underperforming.
The rest of the near-term schedule includes three younger teams who were expected to be at the bottom of their respective conferences. The Charlotte Hornets have been surprisingly competitive to start off the season, thanks in large part to the impressive play of Devonte’ Graham. As a team, they’re just outside the top ten in three-point shooting percentage … but they’re also certainly beatable. The Hornets are 23rd in defensive rating and dead last in rebounding percentage. Not to mention, the team has also been shutdown in their previous two contests against the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets, losing 132-96 and 101-91, respectively.
The Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzles both pose an interesting challenge with some young, explosive talent sitting on the roster. Fortunately for the Bulls, they’ve already tasted victory against the Grizzlies once this season. The Kings could be a fun matchup.
In any case, if the Bulls can find a way to NOT screw this up (a tall order), it’s not unlikely they find themselves back in the Eastern Conference playoff picture by the first week of December. Heck, I mean, they’re not even that far out right now: sitting in 10th place, only 1.5 games back from the 8-seed. The East is that bad, folks.
Take a look:
- Bucks (12-3)
- Celtics (11-3)
- Heat (10-3)
- Raptors (10-4)
- 76ers (9-5)
- Pacers (8-6)
- Nets (6-8)
- Magic (6-8)
- Hornets (6-9)
- Bulls (5-10)
- Wizards (4-8)
- Hawks (4-10)
- Cavaliers (4-10)
- Pistons (4-10)
- Knicks (4-11)
After the Pacers at No. 6, the East has a noticeable drop-off. The Nets and Magic have both gotten off to a rough start and are now both stuck with injuries to key players. Caris LeVert has missed the last five games with a thumb injury, while Kyrie Irving has been sidelined for the last three games with a shoulder injury for the Nets. On the other hand, the Magic recently announced that All-Star Nikola Vucevic will be out a month with an ankle sprain.
We may not want to believe it, but with a couple wins, the Bulls could be right back in the mix of things.
Still, no matter how nice this schedule looks, the Bulls have proven they can screw up an easy stretch (as many of us painfully witnessed). Hey, maybe they’ll take advantage of the opportunity a second time around … I just wouldn’t bet on it.