Here’s my advice for the Chicago Bulls tonight: Try.
- Seriously, if this team doesn’t come out with a chip on their shoulder after that embarrassing performance on their home floor, the panic button will be struck with a sledgehammer. While the New York Knicks deserve credit for the way they played, the Bulls simply can’t come out that uninspired when their future hangs in the balance. This was supposed to be the stretch where they right the ship with four of five games at the United Center. Instead, they went 2-3 and will now have to embark on yet another extended road trip.
- The Bulls will play four games in six days, which will include matchups against the Timberwolves, Heat, Hawks, and Knicks all on their home floors. This team has done nothing in recent weeks to suggest they can handle such a stretch, so to say I’m concerned about the basketball we’ll see is an understatement. I’ll truly not be shocked if we end up looking back at these four games as the final dagger in a completely lost season. We’ll see.
- If you’re looking for a small glimmer of hope, I guess you can look at the Timberwolves’ recent play. The team currently sits 10th in Western Conference and has lost three of their last four games. They also happen to be just 7-7 on their home floor and could be without several important players tonight. Karl-Anthony Towns is still stuck on the sideline with a calf strain, while players Jordan McLaughlin and Taurean Prince also remain out with injuries. Additionally, the latest injury report has starters D’Angelo Russell and Rudy Gobert listed as questionable.
- The Bulls also should be able to take full advantage of one of the Timberwolves’ greatest weaknesses. Minnesota turns the ball over the fourth-most per game, leading to the third-most points off turnovers for their opponents. Of course, we know this Bulls team is best in transition and sits fourth in the league with 19.3 points off turnovers per game. So on the off chance that this is a “get-right” game, it will likely start with dominating the turnover department.
- Can Nikola Vucevic hang with Rudy Gobert? The Bulls’ big man hasn’t had a double-digit rebounding game since the blowout win over the Dallas Mavericks, and we saw how much he struggled against the more formidable size of Mitchell Robinson and the Knicks’ frontcourt. Gobert is currently the NBA’s leading rebounder, and we all know how ferociously he tends to guard the rim.
- Once again, if you’re hungry for a Bulls team that actually wins games, may I recommend those folks down in the G-League. The Windy City Bulls have been one of the best squads in the league, and they just secured their 10th victory to clinch a spot in the Showcase Cup Tournament in Las Vegas. The Tournament featured the G-League’s top 8 teams from the first half of the season and gives the team an opportunity to win a $100,000 prize. Things tip off later this week!
- The question for Windy City is whether or not guys like Marko Simonovic, Dalen Terry, and the recently promoted Carlik Jones will actually compete with the team. Obviously, without those three, their chances of making some noise will go down pretty drastically. Each has been a key part of this hot start, especially Jones, who was averaging an impressive 20.9 points and 7.6 assists per game.
- Look at this pass from Dalen Terry!
- If we’re being honest, the Bulls just haven’t performed well enough not to give Terry a chance. I understand that he is the least experienced player on this roster, but we saw the spark that Ayo Dosunmu gave when given a bigger opportunity last year. Who is to say Terry can’t do something similar?
- Gonna be crazy when they beat the Eagles anyway.
- I’m sure many teams are having this conversation.
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