This Is Bull

- Sam Fretto

by Sam Fretto

Mercifully, the NBA All-Star Break is here and after 59 games, the Chicago Bulls sit at a record of 26-33 which puts them at 11th in the Eastern Conference. There is no way to describe the current state of the Bulls other than disappointing. 

I admit I didn’t expect the Bulls to be world-beaters this year. Around this time last year, they were first in the Eastern Conference and they were overachieving. However, there is no excuse for their poor performance this season. The Bulls’ President of Operations, Artūras Karnišovas, has stated the most important thing about the team is continuity and that was why they didn’t shake up their roster too much in the offseason and the trade deadline. Continuity has gotten them a 34-48 record since last year’s All-Star Break. 

Although there are multiple issues with this team, their biggest one is 3-point shooting. The Bulls are dead last in the NBA at 3PM and 3PA per game. The Bulls take 1.5 fewer 3s per game than the next team above and they make .1 fewer 3s per game than the team above them, the Los Angeles Lakers, who tore down and rebuilt their team at the deadline. My biggest issue with the Bulls’ poor 3-point shooting is the fact they have many good shooters on the roster. Guys like Zach Lavine, Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, and Alex Caruso are very good 3-point shooters. The problem is after that, there is a huge decline in talent. However, they should not be at the bottom of the league in this category. 

The Bulls are also underperforming because they lack a true playmaker. The Bulls began to sputter and flare out after the injury to Lonzo Ball. Since then, the Bulls have not had a true playmaker.

It’s clear that Lonzo Ball’s injury is much more severe than initially thought, and the question isn’t when will Lonzo come back, it’s if he can ever come back. The Bulls knew this and still decided to do nothing at the deadline. Ayo Dosunmu has tried to fill the role of Lonzo Ball and he has been a fine NBA player but his play-making ability is not on the level of Lonzo Ball. 

The Chicago Bulls are currently the only team in the NBA that has not made a move via trade or the buyout market this season. 

The Bulls claim they are trying to contend, yet they are not making any moves that say they are trying to compete. They aren’t even making moves that show they have a specific direction like wanting to retool or potentially rebuild, the lack of moves just says something White Sox and Bulls owner, Jerry Reisndorf has been echoing for decades. They are saying, “We are fine with mediocrity.” 

The Bulls sit 2 games back from Toronto for the 10th seed, which is the lowest seed you can be, and still get into the play-in tournament. The Bulls have the 7th worst record in the league and the Orlando Magic own the Bulls’ top-4 protected pick. At this point in the season, the Bulls have no choice but to stick with the squad they have. Whether you root for them to win or root for them to lose, it doesn’t matter, the Bulls’ season is over because they are not legitimate contenders and they aren’t bad enough to tank, we can only hope if the Bulls miss the playoffs, they win in the lottery.

However, this offseason is going to be a big one for the Bulls because they will be able to pick a direction. The Bulls’ front office has lost the trust of the fans but they can gain it back this offseason by not settling for mediocrity and reconstructing this roster. 

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