A Chance to Turn the Tide, Plenty of Storylines, Javonte Green's Status, and Other Bulls Bullets

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A Chance to Turn the Tide, Plenty of Storylines, Javonte Green’s Status, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

If the Chicago Bulls want to turn around their season, it starts with winning games like tonight.

  • I know it’s borderline laughable that a matchup with the Washington Wizards feels like a big deal, but that’s the situation the Bulls have put themselves in. The Wizards sit two spots ahead of Chicago in the early season standings with an 11-13 record. However, after a decent start to the year, they have started to drop off over the past couple of weeks in a rather significant way. Not only have they lost their past three matchups (two of which came against teams with a losing record), but they have also lost Bradley Beal for at least a week. Not great news for the organization with the hardest schedule between now and the new year.
  • We could very well begin to look back at this game – the first of four at the United Center over the next five games – as the jolt of momentum this Bulls team needs. Of course, there is also a world where they lose and poke more holes into this slowly sinking ship. But I sincerely believe the former can happen, a long asZach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan can find a way to get on the same page.
  • LaVine finally broke out of his slump against the Sacramento Kings, scoring 41 points on a much-more-familiar 16-28 shooting display. Unfortunately, LaVine’s rise came alongside one of DeRozan’s least impactful performances of the year, as the All-Star sank just 6 of his 18 attempts from the field. The Wizards have one of the worst defenses the Bulls have played all season long, and they currently hold the league’s worst defensive rating over their last five games. If there were any time for the Bulls’ two best offensive players to sync up finally, it would be now.

  • Something to keep in mind for tonight’s matchup: Washington does not cough up the basketball. One of the few things the Bulls have had going for them this season is their ability to generate turnovers. Thanks to forcing roughly 16 TOVs a night, Chicago scores the third-most points per game off opponent screw-ups. Also, the Wizards are a pretty average rebounding team, so the transition and fastbreak opportunities may not be as plentiful as the Bulls want.
  • I can already sense a large portion of the fanbase throwing in the towel this season. And, look, I get it. This start has been extremely discouraging, and it’s difficult to see a path where things take a complete 180. With that said, it’s still early. Not only is the East so jam-packed that only a small winning streak can get the Bulls back into the playoff picture, but there are also so many storylines worth following. What are the Bulls going to do with Nikola Vucevic? Can Patrick Williams start to come into his own? Will Lonzo Ball actually make a heroic return? If the team begins to win, do they have an aggressive move up their sleeve? If the team starts to lose … do they have a bold move up their sleeve? Whether the wins stack up or not, there is still going to be a lot to talk about.
  • NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson answered some depressing questions:
  • The Bulls have listed Javonte Green as “doubtful” for tonight’s matchup against the Wizards. Green had to sit out the team’s last game with knee soreness, which opened the door for Derrick Jones Jr. to see increased minutes. Will Billy Donovan do the same thing tonight? If I had to guess, I think we see a lot more of Andre Drummond, whose minutes have sunk over the past few games. With Kristaps Prozingis and Daniel Gafford on the floor, Drummond’s size feels most important.
  • Alex Caruso is also listed on the injury report as “questionable” due to an ankle sprain. If Caruso has to sit out, that would likely mean Ayo Dosunmu returns to the Bulls’ starting lineup alongside Patrick Williams. Unfortunately for the Bulls, that has not been a winning combination:
  • How the heck wasn’t there an earthquake!?
  • If I cared about either of these teams … I’d be fuming.

Author: Elias Schuster

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