The Chicago Bulls shouldn’t be allowed to see the record of their opposing team.
About the only thing they do consistently is allow their opponent’s level of success to dictate their own standard of play. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried that this issue will creep up again on the international stage.
- The Detroit Pistons have just 12 wins and sit as the NBA’s third-worst team. They have already lost star youngster Cade Cunnigham to a season-ending shin injury and currently play the second-worst defense in the league behind only the San Antonio Spurs. There is no reason a veteran-laden Bulls team trying its hardest to put together a second-half surge should lose to Detroit. But they also shouldn’t have lost to the Thunder or Rockets or Magic or Beal-less Wizards.
- Also, for as big as the margin of victory was for the Bulls back on Dec. 30, Detroit kept things interesting for three quarters. Chicago’s porous defense allowed six players to score in double figures and allowed the Pistons as a whole to sink an absurd 17 shots from downtown. Without LaVine and DeRozan pacing the Bulls to a 37-point final frame with 21-combined points, there was a very real chance that Detroit could have pulled out that win.
- If I’m LaVine or DeRozan (who is expected to return tomorrow from a three-game absence, by the way), I want to put on a show. Not only am I quite literally under a global spotlight, but DeRozan’s injury halted a solid “shut up” campaign from both players. The Bulls had won three of four games before DeRozan stumbled over Al Horford, which included impressive victories over Philly and Brooklyn. Both displayed a far better understanding of how to get the other involved and when to let the other take full reigns. This all culminated in easily their best performance as a duo this season, each scoring at least 35 points on 57.0+ percent shooting from the field in a win over Utah. Can the margin continue upon DeRozan’s return?
- If the answer to the above question is no, we may already know why. While LaVine has been able to stay on the floor, he’s been playing through a lingering finger issue. To his credit, he’s still been able to finish with 25+ points in each of the team’s last two games, but he hasn’t been able to play the same kind of efficient off-ball scoring role that worked so well during the team’s winning stretch. Instead, he’s had to prioritize getting the free throw line to get his points, shooting at least 14 attempts against the Thunder and Warriors. If his finger isn’t feeling better tomorrow night, it could be a little harder for him and DeRozan to co-exist.
- Let’s hope that ice is helping!
- Bulls out here catching strays! Chill, Joel!
- We need to get DeRozan a copyright for that nickname ASAP.
- I don’t think I’ve seen a current Bull sporting a beret yet. Tragic.
- The Chicago Sky are also taking their talents out of the country! The first-ever Canada game in WNBA history will feature the Sky and Minnesota Lynx in Toronto. This will be an exhibition matchup that will take place on May 13.
- A little winning can go a long way for a rebuilding team.
- I’ve come around on the whole Arlington Heights move. Makes too much sense.