"Only Two Games Back!" Is a Lot Worse Than It Sounds and Other Bulls Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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“Only Two Games Back!” Is a Lot Worse Than It Sounds and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

We’ve reached that point in the Chicagoland winter where every day looks and feels the same.

I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the sun. Will it ever return? Is there still a sun? Has there ever actually been a sun!? Those dang Illuminati – always messing with my brain.

Woah.

  • Yes, the Bulls are two games back of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. No, you shouldn’t get your hopes up.

  • NBC Sports Chicago’s Kevin Anderson describes the Bulls situation well. I’m not sure how many playoff truthers are still among us, but for the Bulls to crack the top-8 (and, more importantly, stay there), they’d have to see a pretty incredible mid-season turnaround.
  • For a more numbers-oriented approach, Five Thirty-Eight’s Playoff Predictor has the Bulls at just a 19 percent chance of making the playoffs. And for the Bulls to make any kind of convincing run, they’d have to start beating teams with an above .500 record, which is something they’ve accomplished only once this season. Even worse, against the eight teams that currently sit above them in the standings, the Bulls are 0-15. If Anderson is right, and the Bulls need 38 wins to make the cut, this team would need to win at least 19 of their next 33 games. Good luck with that.
  • Now, with that said, there are certainly some potential wins on the upcoming schedule. Before the All-Star break, the Bulls will have three of their six games against below .500 teams. Then, coming out of the break, the Bulls will have eight of their next 11 games against teams with a losing record. I know that leaves some room for optimism, but we still have little reason to believe the Bulls can take advantage of these stretches to make up any ground. Add the fact that Chicago’s schedule from mid-March to the end of the regular season is one of the hardest in the NBA, and it likely wouldn’t even matter if the Bulls managed to stay competitive over the next couple of weeks.
  • Also, this poses the biggest question of all: should we even want the Bulls to make the playoffs? The team would go on to get annihilated in the first round by the Bucks, and the front office could have an excuse to keep everything the same because of “progress.” For those of us actually watching this season, we know this team has shown anything but progress. And while I value playoff experience for young players (and even showing future free agents this team is worth joining), it’s just another excuse to avoid addressing what needs to be done.
  • NBA players who wear No. 8 or No. 24 across the league are switching jersey numbers in honor of Kobe Bryant. Of course, Zach LaVine has worn No. 8 since his rookie year, and earlier this week he said Bryant was part of the reason why. We have no word on whether he’ll switch yet, but I’m sure he’ll comment on it sometime soon.
  • FWIW: I’m fine either way. I respect players individually retiring the number, yet I also understand wanting to wear it in his memory.

  • The Bulls need to hand Coby White the keys.

  • On Friday, the NBA will announce the Rising Stars roster for this year’s All-Star Game weekend. With the event in Chicago, it wouldn’t be shocking to see White make the cut, but has he done enough to stand out among all the other young talent? He talks with NBC Sports Chicago about what a roster spot would mean to him. My guess is either Wendell Carter Jr. (pending injury) or White will make the cut.
  • #ZachLaVineSavesTheDay

  • Pacers guard Victor Oladipo is set to make his season debut against the Bulls tonight. Good news for the NBA, bad news for the Bulls. I’m excited to see him back on the court though, he’s always been an enjoyable player to watch.

  • My friend Myles wrote a great post about the passing of Kobe Bryant, and if you have some free time, I recommend giving it a read. Therapeutic and relatable.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.