Monday Blues, the East Isn’t Getting Any Worse, Ant’s Big Shot, and Other Bulls Bullets
Why did I have to be reminded of this!? Monday’s are already bad enough!
I guess props to the Bulls for not holding the longest drought, but I still can’t believe it’s been eight years since the organization won a first-round playoff series. Actually, wait, I can totally believe it’s been that long, which makes things even worse!
- I understand that franchises go through their down years. Rebuilds happen and eras come and go. But the incompetence of the Bulls – and almost every Chicago sports franchise – over the past decade has far past the point of acceptable. A market as big as Chicago with as prestigious of a basketball history simply shouldn’t be inching close to a decade of irrelevance.
- Also, when I say irrelevance, I mean irrelevance. As SBNation’s Ricky O’Donnell kindly reminded us this weekend, and as I wrote about just a couple of weeks back, the Bulls have held the fourth-worst winning percentage in the NBA since the 2016-17 NBA season. They currently have ONE winning season over the last seven. And, uh, what the heck do they have to show for it? You can usually hang your hat on some kind of young potential franchise centerpiece after that long of sucking. Don’t get me wrong, I like me some Zach LaVine, but he’s 28 years old and can’t be considered a genuine No. 1. I also still have high hopes for Patrick Williams, but he hasn’t shown enough for us to consider him the future of the franchise.
- The Knicks, Magic, and Pistons are the three teams to have worse records over the previous seven seasons. New York is currently on the brink of going to the second round of the playoffs with a young franchise point guard in Jalen Brunson. The Magic have the inevitable ROY Paolo Banchero to go along with a slew of high-end young prospects. And the Pistons have arguably one of the most exciting young backcourts in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey to try to build around. The team one spot above Chicago with the fifth-worst record since 2016-17 is the Kings, and they finished 2nd in the West this year. Not to mention, De’Aaron Fox is looking like one of the top point guards in the NBA.
- As for the Bulls, they invested three first-round picks in a core with an average age of above 30 only to get bounced in the Play-In Tournament. They’re now playing damage control to figure out how to continue building a competitive roster without barely any assets. If anything, they’re the closest to having to re-enter a full-blown rebuild of any of these teams. Major yikes!
- Speaking of the Knicks, they took a confident 3-1 lead over the Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon. While I’d still take Cleveland’s future over New York, there is no question that the Knicks are proving they’re ready to be in the competitive mix for years to come. Not only have Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson shown they can play well together, but RJ Barrett continues to settle into his NBA career alongside a handful of decent young role players. New York is also set up tremendously well with extra draft capital and flexibility to add the league’s next disgruntled star.
- Indeed, both New York and Cleveland have to be added to a long list of Eastern Conference teams to worry about over the next half-decade or so. The same goes for Milwaukee, Boston, and Philly. Add in the risers like Indiana with Haliburton, Orlando with Paolo, and Detroit with their youngsters, and I don’t see the East getting any easier any time soon. Good luck, Bulls!
- At least Anthony Edwards isn’t in the East! While the Minnesota Timberwolves may be one loss away from getting bounced in the first round, Edwards continues to show major growth.
- This dude gets it.
- Might print this out and frame it.
- DRAFT WEEK IS HERE!
- IceHogs going all the way.