So About That Defense ... And Other Bulls Bullets

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So About That Defense … And Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

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Who wouldn’t want to feed a Lil Sebastian look-a-like some carrots while watching the Bulls shoot themselves in the foot!?

  • How about that defense?

  • Earlier this season, the Bulls stumbled their way into a top-3 defensive rating in the NBA. The stat gave Jim Boylen and his coaching staff something to hang their hat on, but expectedly so, ever since starting this five-game stretch against the Bucks, Jazz, Celtics, Mavs, and Pelicans, the Bulls defensive rating has started its descent. In other words, the hook holding Boylen’s hat lacks just as much backbone as this front office. The Bulls defensive rating has fallen to 8th-overall, and chances are, it’ll continue working its way down the leaderboards with the Indiana Pacers up next.
  • If the Bulls are playing a team with a competent head coach or superior talent (which the Pelicans have at least one of with Alvin Gentry), their defense is out of luck. A common theme throughout the entire season has been the opposing team’s ability to make adjustments at halftime while the Bulls sit on their hands.
  • And the players know it:

  • Yes, these players can perform better, but first and foremost, this is a coaching issue. Boylen fails to make the appropriate in-game adjustments to save his young team from themselves. The Pelicans came out of the locker room and scored 44 points in the third quarter compared to the Bulls 27. Talk about being underprepared.
  • The Bulls dropoff in net-rating throughout the game is just another example of Boylen’s poor in-game coaching.

  • Opposing teams ramp up the energy as the game goes on, the Bulls bring everything they’ve got in the first two quarters. Boylen can’t find a way to keep them from going off the rails. Not to mention, coming into a game somewhat prepared is exactly what an assistant coach can help accomplish. As for making the right adjustments right then and there, that’s mainly the head coach’s job. Boylen continues to prove he’s nothing more than an assistant in the head coach’s chair.

  • Zach LaVine with another All-Star-caliber performance … in a loss.

  • I’m all for a great LaVine performance, but for LaVine to get over the hump, these big performances need to come in wins. He missed the mark last season because of the team’s losing record, and that might very well happen again.
  • The Athletic’s John Hollinger did include LaVine relatively high in his “quarterback” rankings. He outlined who he believes to be the league’s best playmakers and LaVine falls at No. 22, the first player in the “overextended secondary option” category. I was a bit surprised to see him thrown into this discussion, but Hollinger says that if LaVine were put into a situation where he could be the No. 2, he could thrive even more. Can’t say I’d disagree.

  • FWIW: Kris Dunn is shooting 43.5 percent from 3 over his last 11 games. He also knocked down a season-high three 3-pointers last night. Wisely, he is limiting his action from downtown, only taking about one or two shots a game. Good, keep it that way.
  • Somehow, someway, other NBA teams still find a way to have it worse than the Bulls. The Cleveland Cavaliers are a full-blown MESS.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.