Yesterday, I drove for five hours. I remember about three of them. I don’t know what it is, but I think my brain just turned on auto-pilot as I listened to several hours of podcasts.
Anyway, while I was hitting the open road, of course, the news of Lauri Markkanen’s injury broke. I think the Bulls were tracking my location and waited until I was in the middle of nowhere Indiana to send out the news.
You win this time, Bulls.
- Otto Porter, Lauri Markkanen, Wendell Carter Jr., and Daniel Gafford – three players who’ve become instrumental in the Bulls core are all off the court for the foreseeable future. There is no denying that this team has been plagued with injury trouble throughout this rebuild, it’s simply a fact. As NBC Sports’ Tom Haberstroh pointed out on Twitter, the Bulls main starters – Markkanen, Carter Jr. Porter, and LaVine – have played only nine whole games together. Yes, that’s crazy and incredibly unlucky. Yet still, the Bulls can not use injuries as a crutch. This organization has failed to build a sustainable and winning roster. The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry wrote about this a bit after last night’s game, and he wisely mentions the lack of clear direction as well as the poor player development. The Bulls have faced some adversity through this rebuilding process, but they’ve either created it on their own or failed to overcome it.
- Not to mention, Jim Boylen’s new “system” hasn’t progressed this team forward at all. He was handed a solid group of young talent and failed to implement a scheme that highlights their best attributes. Throughout the season, he has preached “duplicity,” claiming that his system fits this team regardless of the players on the court. When it barely fits the starting five, I think it’s safe to say it will not fit throughout the roster. Last night, Thaddeus Young blatantly called out how his style of play is different from Lauri Markkanen’s (via NBC Sports Chicago): “Obviously, my style of play is completely different. I can post up and put my back to the basket. I make some shots. I’m not as good a shooter as Lauri, but I try to insert myself in those positions that help our offense be successful.”
- FYI: Cristiano Felicio is also not the same player as Wendell Carter Jr.
Boylen has talked about "duplicity." Plug and play different guys into the same role. There is very little tailoring of role to their strengths/weaknesses.
Felicio is not the same level of decision maker/passer as Wendell Carter. Hot take: He shouldn't be initiating offense. pic.twitter.com/scCTxkQvKx
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) January 25, 2020
- Fortunately, Boylen might finally be hitting a wall (via NBC Sports Chicago): “Will we have to adjust some things and maybe play a little differently? Maybe,” Jim Boylen said. “I’ll evaluate with the shots we got and what else we had. But I’m not gonna reinvent the wheel in January, I’m not gonna do that.” Eh, at least it’s something, I guess. I’m not in any way hoping for a turnaround this season, but anything that can make things a bit more “watchable” down the stretch is welcome.
- Michael Jordan commented on the LeBron comparison yesterday in Paris, and he responded in the GOATest of way.
- In other words, Jordan knows he’s the best and so do we.
#Bulls have only cold water for their postgame showers. This really wasn’t their day.
“Cold as Antarctica,” one player said.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 25, 2020
- The temperature was set to match their 3-point shooting.
- Derrick Rose has officially rejuvenated his career. I’m so freaking happy for the guy.
🌹 @drose has scored 20+ points in 11 straight games, the longest streak of his career!
👀 his BEST BUCKET from each of the 11 contests! pic.twitter.com/WY9CPwgOia
— NBA (@NBA) January 25, 2020
- I’m worried none of it matters, but Jerry Reinsdorf was in attendance for the game last night and I hope he got a nice look at what his franchise has become. If I were him, I’d leave the United Center and call some advisors immediately. Unfortunately, he probably told Paxson he was doing a great job and to give Boylen a raise.
Bulls lose at home to a Kings team that was on six-game losing streak. Soak it in Jerry. https://t.co/bk6M8pVn8G
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 25, 2020
- Fred VanVleet, anyone?
Now that Markkanen is out, it is time to activate the VanVleet Initiative.
– Trade Satoransky/Young for cap space
– Bring home Rockford, IL native Fred VanVleet in the summer
– Hang 23 from the rafters pic.twitter.com/mO66oOLTHd
— Taco Trey Kerby (@treykerby) January 25, 2020
- Aw, how cute.
It’s the #YearoftheRat!
Share with us how you’re celebrating today for a chance to receive the cute rat soft toy ❤️ pic.twitter.com/NgEDMGD6XG
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 25, 2020