What is this, the offseason!?
Three days without Bulls basketball feels more like three months. After starting the season playing a league-high 13 games in 23 days – which included a league-high four back-to-back sets – the Bulls probably couldn’t be happier to spend some extra time in the practice gym. Not only should it give them a chance to clean up some early-season mistakes, but it should give their high-usage All-Stars a much-needed breather.
With all that said, I’ll be interested to see how this group responds to their first real break of the season. While it can be a blessing to take some time off, it can also initially bite you in the rear, especially when you play the teams that the Bulls have coming up on the schedule. The last thing they want to do is walk into matchups with the Nuggets and Pelicans too relaxed.
- So what are some things the Bulls should have addressed over the past few days? The top priority feels pretty obvious. Turnovers have turned into a pretty significant problem this season, which is a slight surprise considering how careful this team was with the basketball last year. These are naturally going to increase when you play a more uptempo and unselfish style of play, but it still isn’t something this team can afford to see continue. They currently average the 10th-most TOVs per game and sit bottom-10 in AST/TOV ratio.
- I also have to imagine that the 4th quarter was a heavy point of discussion in practice the last two days. After being one of the best second-half teams in the league last year thanks to the magic of DeMar DeRozan, the Bulls have looked plainly human when the game is on the line this season. They have held just the 21st net rating in the 4th quarter and the last-place net rating in the clutch. Whether it be clanking shots off the rim, committing silly fouls, or allowing key offensive rebounds, pretty much nothing has gone right for this team in close games.
- For an organization that is so determined to prove continuity is the right path forward, these two issues certainly don’t help. Being more familiar with one another should mean fewer mistakes and a far more comfortable essence in the waning minutes. Let’s hope the Bulls can gain just that sooner than later.
- KEEP ON GRINDING!!
- Nikola Vucevic received a hefty fine for using a certain finger earlier this week. The big man was extremely apologetic when asked about the gesture … but, honestly, he doesn’t need to be. I like this version of Vooch! He’s played with a greater edge to his game than ever before, and it’s come with more success on the offensive glass and in the post. All things considered, this is much closer to the version of Vooch the Bulls have wanted.
- Dalen Terry was assigned to the G-League earlier this week for the first time. And, despite rejoining the Bulls for practice on Friday, it appears that the rookie could be in line to play his first G-League game of the year. As much as I want to see Terry clock more big-league minutes, this feels like something that we should see a lot more of over the next couple of months. The Bulls bench is playing too darn well for Terry to squeeze his way into the rotation, so he might as well keep his legs fresh with some battles for the Windy City. Not to mention, it gives us more Terry film to sink our teeth into!
- Uh, so this is kind of awkward. While I don’t necessarily disagree with either LaVine or Vooch, I’m not sure I would have expected them to speak this honestly about the new threads.
- Andre Drummond could never.
- Fun Fact: Zach LaVine and I have both been to Venice!
- GIVE ME ALL OF THE CLAYPOOL.