I Have Only So Much Love to Give, At Least the Coach Gets It? And Other Bulls Bullets

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I Have Only So Much Love to Give, At Least the Coach Gets It? And Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Don’t worry guys, the Bulls don’t play again until … *looks at schedule* … crap.

•   I’m done making excuses, and the Bulls should be too. It’s just the second game! They haven’t played in nine months! These guys are young! We have a whole new system! All of that is true, but it also doesn’t really change the fact that this roster simply isn’t good enough. Even with more games, more time, more experience, and more practice, this Bulls team will not turn heads – er, well, unless it’s away from the TV. I can’t blame the front office for wanting to take a closer look at some of these young pieces. They were handed a muddy pile of tools, so rather than just throw them all away, they decided to brush them off to see if any still worked. I would probably do the same. Why throw out a perfectly good wrench that can fit inside another tool bag?

•   As for the rest, I guess you still try to clean them up and improve their resale value. If the Bulls continue on this current track – which almost feels expected – the roster turnover will surely start sooner than later. This season’s trade deadline was already going to be an interesting period to watch regardless of how the Bulls came out over their first couple of games, but now it’s become that much more important. And, again, I know people are going to say it’s early to jump to these negative thoughts, but is it? Is it really? We can only talk about giving these “core” players a chance for so long. We are on Year 4 of Lauri Markkanen and Year 3 of Wendell Carter Jr. Zach LaVine has been in the league for seven seasons. As I said above, some of these guys might prove to work under different circumstances, but as a collective unit, this ain’t it. Darnell Mayberry spoke to this point beautifully in his latest postgame article at The Athletic: “Of course, all of it deflects from the real issue, which is that these players are who they are. Individually, they’re skilled in various regards. But all of them are highly flawed. And collectively, this roster just isn’t very good.”

•   Some might want to already blame Billy Donovan, but I would caution against that. He was brought in knowing that this roster was bound to change, and it’s clear to see that he’s just as frustrated as the rest of us with this core’s inability to work together, specifically when facing adversity: “That’s this team’s, so to speak, cross to bear. They don’t handle it. They don’t at all. I think they internalize their mistakes. They internalize what’s going on.” Part of Donovan’s job is to break those habits, but these players have to meet him halfway. His job is to give them information and strategy they need to improve. Their job is to execute it.

•   Where do we go from here? Well, as strange as it sounds, nowhere. The Bulls will stay on course because they have no other choice. In fact, in many ways, this was still the expected course. Early-season struggles or not, this was all a part of the evaluation process. We all might have hoped the front office would miraculously learn that the Bulls were filled with hidden gems, but they are instead learning the opposite. That’s okay, at least they’re learning something. They will continue to gather some information over the next month or so, then things will change. The trade deadline and offseason will surely (hopefully?) be used to steer this organization in a new direction. Perhaps that’s wishful thinking, but Arturas Karnisovas has yet to prove us otherwise. When he sees with his own eyes that something isn’t working, he has made the necessary changes. And I think we can all agree barely anything about this roster is working.

•   Well said, Sato.

•   FWIW: Karnisovas’ hand-picked talent is looking pretty good. Not only was Garrett Temple giving some of the best effort for the Bulls last night, but Patrick Williams continued to look like a top rookie.


•   *reads the following before vomiting*

Author: Elias Schuster

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