Monday offered a very solid night of television.
I had two big screens going with The Bachelor on one and the College Football Playoffs Championship on the other. Then, on my computer screen, I had the depressing Bulls game. Multi-tasking at its finest.
- Jason Goff, K.C. Johnson, and Tony Gill sat in on the Bulls Talk Podcast for a midseason review. For all the frustrated Bulls fans out there (which, I think would be every Bulls fan?), I recommend giving this a listen to put the rest of this season into perspective.
- As weeks have passed by, the Bulls “goal” of reaching the postseason has drifted further away from the original Media Day proclamation. Indeed, they may be just 5.5 games back from the 8th seed in a muddy east, but as Johnson points out, it’s almost impossible to envision them putting together a run in their current state. More importantly, I’m not sure the Bulls even believe they can put themselves in a position to succeed in the short-term.
- Tony Gill mentions one point that’s been evident for weeks – the narrative of this team has completely changed. Some of the players might still bring up a playoff-run in passing, but Jim Boylen has talked far more about “development” and “laying the foundation.” He doesn’t appear at all focused on postseason play. Nothing proves to me more that this organization doesn’t care about living up to their own goal than this fact.
- NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson also provided his midseason update, and he seems to be moving toward the “throw in the towel” mindset as well. He talks about trade opportunities for Thaddeus Young and Denzel Valentine (more on that later) and touches on the job security of Jim Boylen after this season. Give it a read for a good rundown of where things stand.
- The Bulls defense with Wendell Carter Jr. was already dropping down the league leaderboards thanks to a more balanced schedule than the one they faced earlier on. But take Carter Jr. out of the equation, and things will only get worse. The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry talks about the Bulls defensive woes and how they can stop the bleeding. My hopes aren’t high.
- Jim Boylen ALSO commented on the Bulls’ first full half of the season. SARCASTIC SPOILER ALERT: His comments 100 percent will not make you feel better.
Jim Boylen’s First-Half Bulls Thoughts Are … Not Particularly Comfortinghttps://t.co/YsGiWps0ky
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 13, 2020
- Boylen talks about how the team’s established a system on both ends, which is kind of like saying I’ve established myself as an elite presence in the competitive ice sculpting circuit – a lie. The Bulls have no identity on either side of the ball. Unless he counts Zach LaVine running the show on offense and an overly aggressive scheme causing the team to get burned on defense as a system?
- Exactly. Is the system!?
Chicago Bulls with 16 assists. In a freaking NBA game. Their half court offense is spread the floor and take turns trying to drive to the basket while 4 guys watch.
— Ron Awsumb (@ronawsumb) January 14, 2020
- The third year of the rebuild meant the emergence of Lauri Markkanen … or so we were told. Markkanen came out of his shell a bit during December but appears back to his old and reluctant ways in some of the Bulls’ latest games. At 22-years-old, I still have plenty of faith he holds the tools and talent necessary to be an All-Star-caliber forward in this league. The main problem is the Bulls aren’t putting him in a position to succeed. If anything, all we’ve seen this organization do in terms of player development aid in Markkanen’s regression.
At the halfway mark, Lauri Markkanen is averaging fewer points than his rookie season (15.1 vs. 15.2) and playing only slightly more (30.1 vs. 29.7).
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 14, 2020