Children go back to school. Adults go back to work. Pets go back to … uh … doing animal things. And I – a child-adult-alien hybrid – continue writing about the Bulls for a bunch of angry people on the internet! The circle of life.
Here we go!
- After tonight’s game, the Bulls will either have their best win of the season or their longest losing streak of the season. Unfortunately, the former is MUCH more likely. Chicago starts a short two-game road stretch against the No. 1-ranked Dallas Mavericks offense at 7:30 p.m. tonight, and while the Bulls have managed to hang around with the Utah Jazz and Boston Celtics over the last two games, it’s hard to imagine they can slow down rising superstar Luka Doncic. Not to mention, the team might very well be without Lauri Markkanen, who suffered a sprained ankle (and is currently listed as doubtful on the injury report) during Saturday night’s game.
- I suppose if anyone was going to slow down Doncic, it would be Kris Dunn. Over the last two games, Dunn has continued to prove how much of a hound he truly is with solid outings against elite guards like Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum (who did have 28 points … but Dunn still put up a good fight). My hopes aren’t high, but if Dunn can at least bring Doncic down to earth, the Bulls could be in store for another close game … which obviously means another close loss.
- The Ringer broke down the most inconsistent players in the NBA, can you guess what Bull made the list? Ding-Ding-Ding! Zach LaVine! Knowing Bulls fans, this will spark some clear frustration, but I recommend taking this information with a grain of salt. LaVine is ranked alongside Paul George, D’Angelo Russell, Jamal Murray, Kembar Walker, Fred VanVleet, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Those aren’t nobodies. What these numbers show us isn’t that he’s a bad player, but rather he isn’t a No. 1 player, which The Ringer’s Zach Kram wisely notes (and we all already knew). LaVine, just like his inconsistent counterparts, can be an above-average No. 2 on most nights of the year. This is a good reminder that even if LaVine cracks the All-Star game, the Bulls can’t pretend he is their sure-fire future superstar. Though I fear they will.
- ESPN broke down each team’s situation with the trade deadline looming (including players contracts, cap status, who’s likely to be traded, and more). Check it out.
- If Lauri Markkanen does end up missing tonight’s game, it’s hard to imagine to Bulls run another 8-man rotation. Moving forward, I’d prefer Boylen to play his starters like starters, so hopefully, he doesn’t take this as an excuse to play 12 men in the first half. If the Bulls want to win, they have to keep it simple.
Jim Boylen shortened the Bulls' rotation tonight and tried Thad Young in the small forward slot. That led to more typical minutes for the starters, but didn't prevent another loss.
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) January 5, 2020
- I wonder if we’d ever see a Daniel Gafford and Wendell Carter Jr. frontcourt at some point if Markkanen misses time? I’ve already been curious about what it’d look like to give Carter Jr. some minutes at power forward, and factoring in how useless Luke Kornet has been, it might be the Bulls best bet to just switch up combinations of Young, Carter Jr., and Gafford. With both Carter Jr. and Gafford in, the rim-protection could be absurd. Plus, Carter Jr. should get a couple more shots off and build that confidence.
- Speaking of Gafford, he went to a block party and never left.
Daniel Gafford has recorded his 11th multi-block game off the bench this season, tied for fourth-most in the NBA this season.
— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) January 5, 2020
- MORE OF THIS.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 3, 2020
- Not great.
How not to run a fast break, by the Chicago Bulls pic.twitter.com/CjoHskROs4
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) January 3, 2020
- Bulls also rank 6th-highest in percent of points off the fastbreak, by the way.
- If this doesn’t put in perspective how long Dirk played, I don’t know what does.
It's been a minute pic.twitter.com/3wDBWHgD7I
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) January 6, 2020