No Game Tonight, Getting Back to Full Strength, An "Easier" Schedule, and Other Bulls Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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No Game Tonight, Getting Back to Full Strength, An “Easier” Schedule, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Does anyone here just kind of forget to drink water? Well, since I’m an idiot, I do. I feel like I always realize in the late afternoon that I’ve only had coffee to drink, and my body is definitely sitting there like, “bruh, we thirsty and not healthy.” So, I’ve made it a goal to drink a big old glass of water every morning before my coffee, and I then keep a bottle by my side for the rest of the day. I probably don’t need to tell you this, but I feel like writing it down will make me remember to keep it up.

Here’s to common sense and better health!

•   Due to the majority of the Boston Celtics roster being placed into NBA Protocol, tonight’s contest between them and the Bulls has been postponed. This marks Chicago’s first missed game of the season despite a number of their own players either testing positive for the virus or being place in NBA Protocol due to close contact. To be honest, considering all these problems the Bulls have had (Noah Vonleh, Garrett Temple, Tomas Satoranksy, and Chandler Hutchison have all tested positive at one point or another, as well as Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono missing time for contact tracing), I’m surprised the team has made it this far without closing down the facility or having a previous games canceled. Clearly, the team has not done the best at keeping the virus out, but perhaps this speaks to the quick work the team has done when a problem had occurred.

•   The team’s next games will be on Friday against the Oklahoma City Thunder. With an extra day added to their three-day break this week, the Bulls should get some much-needed rest after a grueling – yet encouraging – road trip. I’d also say there is a good chance the roster will finally be close to full strength this weekend, as Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono should be able to rejoin the team and get caught up to speed. Both players have continued to test negative and both have been able to do some conditioning work at the Advocate Center, according to head coach Billy Donovan. In the meantime, Otto Porter was set to miss his second game of the season with back spasms on Tuesday night, but it’s possible this extra day off helps him dodge another missed game.

•   I’m not saying the Bulls beat the Clippers if Porter was available, but I can’t help but think their chances go up, right? They probably didn’t need him on offense when we consider how well they shot the ball, but his defensive play would have been a welcomed addition. He could have, potentially, helped cool down Kawhi Leonard at times and helped the Bulls crash the glass a bit harder. Considering the Clippers are the last-place rebounding team in the NBA, it feels like that was an area the Bulls failed to exploit more. They still won the overall battle (44-40), but they got beat on the offensive glass 12-3. Otto Porter has shown plenty of hustle underneath the basket this season, and he has at least been good enough for one or two OREBs a night. Sometimes, that can make all the difference in a 3-point game.

•   The Bulls walked out of their road trip 1-3, which I think we’d all agree was pretty expected. At the same time, how good that 1-3 record looked was all kinds of unexpected. Two of their losses came within one score, while the other was just a four-point margin. The fight and execution were promising, but it’s clear the next step is for this team to learn how to close. The Bulls upcoming schedule, fortunately, offers them several opportunities to practice that much-needed skill. A familiar (and surprisingly frisky) Thunder (5-4) squad is up next on Friday, followed by the Mavericks (5-4), Rockets (3-5), and Hornets (6-5). While none should be considered easy matchups, I think it’s fair to say this slate is a bit less taxing than the one they just played. Does that equate to more wins? I guess we’ll see.

•   Yikes.

•   The league’s GM’s reportedly held a meeting on Monday about how to better deal with the ongoing pandemic, and the NBA’s Board of Governors is scheduled to do the same later today. We’ll let you know if anything substantial comes out of that conversation.

•   I hope Patrick Williams already has this pic hanging in his room. What a cool moment for the Rook.

•   Speaking of Rooks, LaMelo Ball is looking pretty damn good.

•   #BULLSLEGEND

 



Author: Elias Schuster

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