MJ the Point Guard, Give the Bulls Some Credit, the James Harden Mess, and Other Bulls Bullets

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MJ the Point Guard, Give the Bulls Some Credit, the James Harden Mess, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

So when did the Bulls become a more competent organization than the Bears?

If you are behind on the lack of accountability going on inside Halas Hall, make sure to go check out all of Lu’s content over on the BN Bears page. I’m sure he is about to have some fire takes.

•   Hi. Watch this:

•   I know Bill Wennington was all kinds of open, but that is still one hell of a pass from Jordan, right? He recognizes the double-team in mid-air and pops out of his shooting motion last second for the higher-percentage look. It’s good stuff, and I can’t help but think about how we would see plenty more of it from Jordan if he were to hop in a time machine and end up on the court in 2020. From LeBron James to Nikola Jokic to Luka Donocic, a team’s top-talent is now, oftentimes, their primary playmaker, and there is no question Jordan would do the same if he played today. And there is also no question that he would be the best at it.

•   I’m not going to sit here and stir up a fresh Jordan vs. LeBron debate, but (*proceeds to do exactly what he said he wouldn’t*) I sometimes get a bit antsy about all this praise for James’ recent assist totals (it’s the Bulls stan in me). I’m not saying his ability to switch so seamlessly from one role to another is not impressive as hell; I’m just saying I think Jordan could do it as effectively. In fact, this isn’t even one of those situations where we can only assume Jordan would be lights-out at a modern-day skillset (i.e. his 3-point shooting). Instead, in case you forgot, we actually saw Jordan take over point guard duties during the 1988-89 season, and his awesomeness in that role has been well-documented: The GOAT averaged 30.4 points, 10.7 assists, and 9.7 rebounds in his 24 regular-season games at point guard. During that stretch, he also rattled off a streak of seven-straight triple-doubles (11 total). Then, in the playoffs, Jordan went on to average 34.8 points, 7.6 assists, and 7.0 rebounds over the Bulls 17 games. Shocked? Me neither.

•   The experiment eventually came to an end the next season, but it’s mainly because the Bulls had a chance to improve their team (drafted B.J. Armstrong) and take a little bit off of Jordan’s plate. There is no doubt, however, that this stint plays an important role in Jordan’s growth and perception as an all-around player. If anything, he kind of paved the way for this approach in today’s league, and that’s something Dan Devine talked a whole lot more about in his stellar piece for The Ringer last year.

•   Look, I’m not saying the Bulls should be any higher than 25th in current power rankings, but I do think The Athletic is a bit off with their most recent explanation: “After the Chicago Bulls beat the Blazers to start this week, it looked like they were going to go flying up the Power Rankings. Then … their West Coast road trip turned into a disaster. I can excuse losing to the Lakers and Clippers. Those are two of the best teams in the NBA. However, losing to Sacramento? That’s unacceptable.” They do go on to compliment some of the Bulls young pieces, as well as (appropriately) bash their defense, but I wouldn’t call that Western Conference road trip anything close to a disaster. I mean, the Bulls were playing extremely shorthanded, including injury trouble to Otto Porter in the last two games. The loss to Sacramento was certainly the worst of the three, but it was still a closely-contested matchup on the backend of a back-to-back. Anyway, I think this is just a good example of how much further the Bulls have to go to get back on the national good-side. While we locals might see the progress built, winning is still all that matters.

•   Good news: I think this guy should help with that …

•   Yeesh, James Harden. I’m not sure the last we saw someone try to force their team into trading them this toxically. The Kawhi Leonard and San Antonio situation was a bit rough, but at least he just stayed behind the scenes until something happened. And, at this rate, I think Harden should take a page out of that book. What good is he doing in the locker room right now? It’s also embarrassingly clear that he cares far less on the court, as ESPN’s Tim MacMahon noted that Harden has scored 20 points or fewer in four-straight games for the first time since 2011-12.

•   There is always time to watch Dennis Rodman drain some 3’s.



Author: Elias Schuster

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