The Bulls Are The Worst Team in Basketball (According to Various Week 1 Power Rankings)

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The Bulls Are The Worst Team in Basketball (According to Various Week 1 Power Rankings)

Chicago Bulls

If this were Rotten Tomatoes, the Chicago Bulls first week of the season would receive the furthest thing from a “Certified Fresh” review. And, no, we’re not just talking about a “rotten” rating, we’re talking about a rotten, stomped, ran-over-with a car, spit on by a llama, and doused in hot sauce rating.

Look, no one expected this Bulls team to be anything special, including myself. I had my fair share of positive comments to throw their way this offseason, but that never included any kind of playoff declaration. If anything, this team has always felt like a borderline play-in tournament squad (which accepts the No. 9 and 10 seed), which would equate to only a handful of more wins than last season.

The majority of NBA analysts and experts picked the Bulls to finish 11th in the Eastern Conference. Those who also provided a record prediction typically had the Bulls at around 26-28 wins. These projections meant the Bulls would be anywhere between the 21st and 24th-best team in basketball. Nothing too exciting, but a step in the right direction. All things considered, that can still happen, but we also can not ignore the fact that the Bulls have somehow managed to sneak their way under the rather low bar that was already set. While the offense put together a solid showing against the Warriors, it looked all out of sorts over the team’s first two games. Meanwhile, the Bulls have clearly played some for the worst defense in the league thus far, with a second-to-last -14.9 point differential to start the season.

The team has played two up-and-coming, high-powered offenses in these early matchups (Hawks and Pacers), but that still doesn’t make it acceptable to fall 40 or 30 points behind, respectively. The same can be said when we factor in the “nine-month hiatus” and “new system” arguments. Sure, both are obstacles the Bulls have to overcome, but neither are excuses to start the season as discombobulated as this team has. And that’s why it should be no surprise that the latest power rankings gave the Bulls no free passes. Chicago played like the worst team in the league, and that’s exactly where they sit on the leaderboard one week into the season.

Check it out:

•   The Athletic – 30th: “Week 1 overreaction: This is the worst team in basketball. Except … I’m not certain this is an overreaction.”

•  ESPN – 30th: “Despite a new coach and a new front-office regime in place, the Bulls were outscored by 39 points through the first two games. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, that’s tied for the worst point differential through the first two games of a season in franchise history.”

•  CBS Sports – 30th: “It’s been ugly on both ends for Chicago, as roster tweaks seem inevitable after the rough start.”

•  Bleacher Report – 29th: “Chicago is shooting 43.2 percent from the field to the start season. It is a new system under Billy Donovan, and the struggles are a product of a shortened training camp.”

Yikes with a side of yikes. 

Again, none of this should be considered unexpected after the way they’ve played over the course of the season. The question now is just how much will it take to move back up the rankings? Falling six or so spots is a lot easier than climbing up that amount, especially when we consider the team’s schedule coming up.

The Bulls best chance to redeem themselves might as well be this week when they take on the 0-3 Wizards. After that, a stretch against the Bucks, Mavericks, Blazers, Kings, Lakers, Clippers, and Celtics will be waiting for them. I guess if they can somehow manage to pull off a couple of W’s over that stretch, they should garner more respect around the league, but accomplishing that at this rate is a lot easier said than done.



Author: Elias Schuster

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