The Chicago Bulls have had a rough season since last year, and this year they really hit rock bottom despite a two-game winning streak. The Bulls’ upcoming season is already looking bleak, with experts predicting a finish in the Western Conference’s bottom three places. While the team’s chances of making it to the playoffs are looking increasingly unlikely, it’s still too early to say whether that will be the case.
The Bulls are in trouble after acquiring big man Nikola Vucevic at the deadline. They had to contend with chemistry and then lost Zach LaVine for an extended period of time due to NBA health and safety protocols. Recently, the Bulls lost to Julius Randle and the Knicks, and they needed a win against Milwaukee to get back into the playoff conversation.
In case you’re wondering: It didn’t happen. The Bulls came into the game against the Bucks with an interesting strategy, scoring as many as 16 points in the first quarter to lull the Bucks to sleep and (perhaps) make a comeback.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Bulls seemed to gain confidence in the second quarter. They outscored the Bucks 28-24 in the second half of play. Interestingly, the Bulls tried the same strategy in the third quarter as they did in the first: They only scored 19 points. Despite 35 points in the fourth quarter to make the game look closer than it really was, the Bucks won 108-98 without their best player.
After this loss, the Bulls have lost three games and are in tenth place in the Eastern Conference. With nine games to go and a very tough schedule, it’s safe to say the Bulls won’t be fighting for a playoff spot.
There were a few good moments in the match. Despite a 40% success rate from the field, Kobe White scored 21 points and handed out seven assists. With only one turnover and 50% success at the three-point line, it’s safe to say White had another good game. His recent solid play has been a welcome development since Zach LaVine was benched.
You can also consider Daniel Theis a bright spot. The big man had a double-double with 16 points and ten rebounds on 7/9 shooting. He played just 25 minutes, which is interesting in a game where the Bulls were without Lauri Markkanen and future star Christian Felicio. Still, he played well and showed why many Bulls fans are hoping the team will find a way to contract him in the offseason.
Nikola Vucevic has been incredibly consistent and effective for the Bulls. Today, however, he was really struggling. Despite his 17 points and 15 rebounds, Vucevic hit just 25.9 percent from the field. More importantly, he hit 27 pitches despite being cold all night. It was another example of how the Bulls needed LaVine on the field.
The Bulls’ next opponent is the Atlanta Hawks (34-30), who come to the United Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago. The Hawks are currently in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. It will be interesting to see how the Bulls perform after a brutal loss. We’ll see if the Bulls, who were eliminated today, can come back for this game. You know we’ll keep you posted, so follow us here.
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