Swept by the Heat, Coby White’s Shooting Slump, Alex Caruso’s Back, and Other Bulls Bullets

Thanks to a second-half pummeling by the Miami Heat, the Chicago Bulls have now stumbled into 6th place.

They sit a half-game behind the Toronto Raptors and 2.0 games ahead of the 7th-place Cleveland Cavaliers. All of that can change again later today, however, as the Cavs battle the 76ers and the Raptors face the Heat. The good news is that swapping spots with Cleveland and falling into the Play-In Tournament remains highly unlikely with just four games to go, as Basketball-Reference’s Playoff Probabilities Report has upped the Bulls’ chance at a top-6 seed to 93.0 percent. But I think we’ll only feel comfortable once a spot is officially clinched, and doing that will not get any easier this week.

•   The first words that came out of Billy Donovan’s mouth in his postgame press conference were as simple as they were frustrating: “We have a long way to go to be at their level.” Down 9 points heading into halftime before being outscored 32-22 in the 3rd quarter, the game was all but over by the time the clock started ticking in the final frame. The Bulls didn’t just look one step behind, they looked lapped. And, unfortunately, that has been the story of the season against the top squads in each conference. The Bulls are 2-19 versus the Heat, Bucks, Celtics, 76ers, Suns, Grizzlies, Warriors, and Mavericks. In the East, they have been swept by the Heat and 76ers, and the Bucks have a chance to go for their 4-0 record this Tuesday at the United Center.

•   I keep trying to remind myself the slate is wiped to 0-0 once the playoffs tip-off, but I’m not sure how reassuring that actually feels when the Bulls refuse to play a competitive game against any of these teams ahead of them. The last three losses to Miami were by double-digits, the last two losses to Philly were by double-digits, and the last loss to Milwaukee was by 26 points. They have at least split the series against the Celtics, only losing by 2 points in January, but those two contests also came before Boston’s remarkable resurgence (they have won 14 of 18 games since the All-Star break). The Bulls now have just two more opportunities to prove the gap isn’t as far as we think it is with matchups against the Bucks and Celtics later this week (oh, and they are on back-to-back nights … woohoo!).

•   Chicago is going to stand no chance in the playoffs if they can’t find a way to hit some dang 3-pointers. Not only do they continue to take the fewest attempts from downtown per game, but a percentage that once sat at the top of the league has ranked just 27th since the All-Star break. The discrepancy in 3-point shooting ability was on full display again last night as the Heat drained 17 of their 34 shots from behind the arc, whereas the Bulls shot just 9 of 34.

•   While we can point fingers in a handful of directions, it’s arguably easiest to point at Coby White. A streaky player, White has picked the absolute worst time to go stone-cold from deep. He is shooting just 29.4 percent from behind the arc in March on nearly 5.3 attempts per game. White shot 1-7 against the Clippers before his 0-7 performance last night, and it’s only further hampered a Bulls’ second unit that has been one of the worst at scoring the basketball this season. Now, to be fair to White, he has made strides as a playmaker and defender this season, but is it enough to justify keeping him on the floor when his shot isn’t falling? Probably not, especially when the opposing team has a player like Jimmy Butler who is begging to be switched onto him every possession.

•   Read the quote from White that K.C. Johnson shares below. Done? Cool. I’ve already seen some people have a problem with those words, and I can’t say I fully understand why. Sure, you’re mad at White for being colder than Antarctica. I totally get that. But what do we want him to say?

•   “Shooters shoot” isn’t just a funny phrase, it’s 100 percent the mentality many NBA players are taught to have. As a player who was shooting over 40.0 percent from downtown until the end of February, we know how effective White can be, especially in catch-and-shoot situations. Again, I believe White should have a shorter leash at times if his shot isn’t falling, but his job is to stretch the floor and chuck it. I want him to continue to do that when he is out there to try to break out of this slump. The literal last thing I want is for him to curl up into the fetal position and moan.

•   Why can’t this team just stay healthy? Donovan made clear after last night’s game that Alex Caruso is “not right” as he continues to play through a back injury. While he said there is no specific minutes restriction – or fear the injury will get worse – the head coach did say he is watching Caruso’s minutes closely, which is likely why he only played 21 minutes last night. It’s still better than nothing to have his defensive IQ out on the floor, but it’s clear he’s hobbling on a handful of possessions, and there is no question that is a big concern with the playoffs looming.

•   So the Raptors get a Celtics team without Tatum and now they get a Heat team without Jimmy? Cool. Cool. Cool. 

•   Bright Side Alert: Patrick Williams had another very encouraging and aggressive performance. Something has potentially clicked for the second-year forward, and it might be time to hand him even more playing time.

•   Things have gotten really rough for the Utah Jazz.

•   Draft well, please. Maybe AK can help.

•   Bruh.

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

more bulls news

Enhanced Box Score: Bulls 129, Wizards 127 – April 12, 2024

For as meaningless as that game was in terms of standings, that game was actually a lot of fun after a sleepwalking effort in the first few minutes of the game. The Bulls and Wizards were both without several contributors...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Washington Wizards (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

The Bulls, or at least whichever of them is actually playing tonight, take on the Wizards in a game that means quite literally nothing. Let's have some fun! https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1778845326654185912 Game Info Chicago Bulls (38-42) at Washington Wizards (15-65) – 6:00...

Bulls Injury Report: Ready for Restpalooza Against the Wizards?

If you've been anxiously awaiting more Henri Drell minutes, I've got good news for you! The Chicago Bulls' latest injury report suggests that the team will proceed with extra caution over the final two games of the regular season. And...

Bulls Earn Top Spot on “Shaqtin’ A Fool” this Week (And Rightfully So)

As expected, the Inside the NBA crew laid into the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night. Torrey Craig and Andre Drummond were part of arguably the dumbest play of the season. After poking the ball away from the Knicks, the two...

NBA Playoff Update: Races, Tiebreakers, Scenarios For Final Regular Season Games

We have just two games left in the NBA's regular season, and there are still some seeding questions left to be answered. The two, three, four, and five seeds are still in the air in the Eastern Conference. We know...

Javonte Green Stats, Alex Caruso’s Now Eligible, Billy Donovan Stays, and Other Bulls Bullets

I guess I should just try to enjoy it, right? The Chicago Bulls clinched the honor of hosting the Atlanta Hawks in the Play-In Tournament next week. A win would then send them to either Philly or Miami, where they...

REPORT: Kentucky Looking to Hire BYU’s Mark Pope (So No Billy Donovan)

Kentucky basketball has honed in on a new head coaching candidate. According to both Jon Rothstein and ESPN's Pete Thamel, the Wildcats are expected to strike a deal with BYU head coach Mark Pope. The news comes after Baylor's Scott...

Enhanced Box Score: Bulls 127, Pistons 105 – April 11, 2024

DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic weren't messing around. The Chicago Bulls' veteran came out and played like two motivated veterans in the first half. DeRozan scored 17 points on 7-12 shooting from the field, while Vucevic added his own 17...

Bulls Secure Home-Court Advantage in Play-In Matchup with Hawks

The Chicago Bulls have accomplished the bare minimum. Despite the Atlanta Hawks right on their tails, the Bulls have managed to avoid one last final catastrophe. A victory over the Detroit Pistons on Thursday night officially locked the team into...

Pre-Gamin’: Chicago Bulls at Detroit Pistons (6:00 CT), Projected Lineups, How to Watch, More

If the Chicago Bulls lose three times to the league-worst Pistons, they are automatically demoted to the G-League. Sorry, I don't make the rules! https://twitter.com/chicagobulls/status/1778407503300084070 Game Info Chicago Bulls (37-40) at Detroit Pistons (13-66) – 6:00 p.m. CT on NBC...

Latest News

Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals Probable Starting Pitchers – April 13

The St. Louis Cardinals (7-7) go on the road at Chase Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks (6-8) at 8:10 PM ET on Saturday.The Diamondbacks will look to Ryne Nelson (0-2) against the Cardinals and Kyle Gibson (1-1).Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals Pitcher...

Umpire Angel Hernandez Cannot Help Himself

With Joe West retired, Angel Hernandez has become the symbol of umpire incompetence. Sure, there are others in the conversation with him — C.B. Bucknor immediately comes to mind (also Laz Diaz, Andy Fletcher, and Chad Fairchild) — but Angel...

DraftKings Promo Code: Bet $5, Get $150 as a New User Today for Masters, NBA, and More

The Masters carries on today along with tons MLB action! Check out the details to score a DraftKings promo code below. You can use this DraftKings promo on any event or sport to secure your bonus! DraftKings Promo Code with...

As Feared, Spencer Strider Had to Have Elbow Surgery and His Season is Over

It felt like this is where the ominous news was trending, and now it has indeed happened: Atlanta Braves ace Spencer Strider had to have what amounts to Tommy John-like surgery. The team made the announcement this morning: https://twitter.com/Braves/status/1779140182756769897 For...

Best MLB Prop Bets Today, April 13, 2024

The Milwaukee Brewers versus the Baltimore Orioles is one of 17 compelling options on today's MLB slate.MLB prop bets for today's games are available, so if you're interested in placing a bet or building a parlay, you'll find those MLB...

Fanatics North Carolina Promo Code Scores New Users Up to $1000 in Bonus Bets

Fanatics North Carolina Sportsbook has arrived, offering a thrilling welcome package for new users. This limited-time promotion allows you to snag up to $1,000 in bonus bets, propelling your sports betting experience to new heights. Unveiling the Fanatics North Carolina...

Phillies vs. Pirates Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Philadelphia Phillies (7-7) are favorites (-154) on the moneyline when they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates (10-4) Saturday at 4:05 PM ET, live on SportsNet PT.Spencer Turnbull will get the ball for Philadelphia while Pittsburgh will counter with Marco...

Nationals vs. Athletics Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, April 13, 2024

After a four-hit game last time out, Jesse Winker leads the Washington Nationals (5-8) as -132 favorites against the Oakland Athletics (6-8). Action gets underway from Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum at 4:07 PM ET on Saturday, live on MASN2.Washington's MacKenzie Gore...

Braves vs. Marlins Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Atlanta Braves (8-4), led by Marcell Ozuna on an 11-game hitting streak, will meet the Miami Marlins (2-12) Saturday at LoanDepot park. The Braves are -203 favorites for the matchup, which starts at 4:10 PM ET on BSSE.Atlanta's Chris...

Orioles vs. Brewers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, April 13, 2024

Led by Colton Cowser (two-game homer streak), the Baltimore Orioles (8-5) are favorites versus the Milwaukee Brewers (9-3) Saturday at 4:05 PM ET. Sportsbooks have named the Orioles as -147 favorites for the game, which airs on BSWI.Dean Kremer gets...

more bulls news