Which Chicago team will have the least painful season?
1. Affected with, causing, or characterized by pain.
2. Causing distress or trouble.
3. Cheering for most Chicago sports teams in the year 2019 and probably 2020.
— Elias Schuster (@Schuster_Elias) January 15, 2020
If one thing’s for sure, it’s not the Bulls.
- Is Zach LaVine an All-Star? Tracey McGrady seems to think so.
Zach LaVine keeps putting up numbers but the Bulls keep putting up losses. So…should Zach be an All-Star in the East? Tracy McGrady says yes, noting that the All-Star game is *in* Chicago this year. @DarthAmin says no way. pic.twitter.com/5EnH3cP1yA
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) January 14, 2020
- The former All-Star stood up for LaVine during yesterday’s episode of The Jump on ESPN. Not only does he believe LaVine’s stats are good enough to make the cut, but he also believes holding the actual All-Star game in Chicago should play a role. Amin Elhassan, meanwhile, disagrees, claiming that while LaVine’s numbers might be good enough, the team isn’t winning enough.
- In my eyes, the team’s lack of success is the only valid reason why LaVine shouldn’t be an All-Star. His numbers are good enough – defensive woes aside. I mean … averaging 24.5 points (30.1 so far this month) on 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 39.5 percent from downtown, he’s one of the most dynamic scorers in the Eastern Conference. With that said, winning grabs coach votes and media votes far more than flashy dunks. I’m not going to be surprised at all if LaVine misses the mark again this season, but I do think his offensive skill set deserves some level of recognition.
- He’s trying to talk like an All-Star.
"We're a team that had goals coming into the season; still can get those accomplished. We're still fighting.” – Zach LaVine
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 15, 2020
- I suppose it’s nice and all to read these players are still “fighting,” but it feels like only a matter of time before they’re KO’d.
- The Athletic has three newer stories up, and they’re all worth a read. First, Stephen Noh wrote about the Bulls’ quick shift from a playoff narrative to a growth narrative. Personally, this has been one of the most frustrating aspects of the season. The front office not setting clear goals for this rebuild is one thing but choosing to publicly set them when it’s clear these goals can’t be achieved is even more reckless (ever hear of under-promise, over-deliver?). The Bulls currently hold the same record they did two seasons ago. In other words, they’ve shown a complete lack of progress if winning is the measuring stick.
- The second piece from The Athletic came on Monday this week when Darnell Mayberry talked with Bulls Assistant General Manager Steve Weinman. I strongly recommend taking the time to read through this article, if you haven’t already. Weinman is said to be at the helm of the Bulls “analytics department” and Mayberry speaks with each Bulls player about what the use of analytics has done for their game. I wouldn’t consider it surprising, but reading through each player’s thoughts is extremely interesting. Some players (*cough* Otto Porter *cough* Denzel Valentine*) are a bit more hesitant to allow data to impact the way they play. Meanwhile, Coby White straight-up says he’s adjusted his game to fit what the numbers are saying (again, more on that later).
- Finally, The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg took some time to tell Tomas Satoransky’s story. Fun read. Okay, now we’re done kissing The Athletic’s butt.
One thing Memphis has that #Bulls don't are established vets sprinkled around the rotation — Valanciunas, Crowder (not playing tonight), Kyle Anderson, Solomon Hill. All have played for good teams. Bulls are pretty much Thad Young only and he's a sub.
— Mike McGraw (@McGrawDHBulls) January 15, 2020
- The Memphis Grizzlies are now 19-22 and hold the 8th-seed in the Western Conference. Yes, the Grizzlies are rebuilding better than the Bulls. Ja Morant helps the cause a lot, but the Grizzlies have put together an extremely promising young core with Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke. The Bulls may have beat them twice this season, but the Grizzlies are a reminder of what the Bulls should be right now.
JA MORANT x JAREN JACKSON JR… OH MY! 😳✨💥
— NBA (@NBA) January 15, 2020
- Bleacher Report gave the Chicago Bulls a C- grade for the first half of the season. Wait, that seems high?
- Lol, pretty true.
We’ve reached the point where the Chicago Bulls are The Simpsons
– Super cool and good at first
– Changed showrunners in the late ‘90s
– Quality of product plummeted
– Now exists as a highly profitable but unambitious husk of itself operating off nostalgia and past goodwill
— Satchel Price (@SatchelPrice) January 14, 2020