NBA Standings: Chicago Bulls Struggling to Keep Pace With Cleveland Cavaliers
After their loss to the Boston Celtics, the Chicago Bulls have now lost three consecutive games. We haven't seen the Bulls miss the playoffs since the 2007-08 season, but they are not playing up to expectations so far this season.
The Bulls are now 11-8, good enough for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
That's pretty disappointing considering the amount of talent that is featured on this Bulls roster. The East is also pretty weak with maybe one superstar at the most in LeBron James. If the Bulls aren't careful, they could miss the playoffs. Fred Hoiberg is getting criticized for not implementing the same defensive strategies as Tom Thibodeau, although the Bulls do rank ninth overall in points allowed. The Bulls issues are more on the offensive side of the basketball.
The Bulls offense ranks 20th in scoring, and Derrick Rose's future in the Windy City remains in question. Jimmy Butler is the new franchise guy, but even he has to improve his game. Pau Gasol has already stated that he will test the free agent market this upcoming offseason, and Nikola Mirotic isn't playing like he's capable of. Taj Gibson is averaging just 6.7 points per game thus far. The Bulls have allowed more than 100 pints in their last three consecutive games.
Joakim Noah, who is making $13.4 million this year, has easily been the most disappointing player for the Bulls this year. Noah is constantly getting the ball in the paint area, but he fails to post up one on one. Noah consistently passes the ball back to the perimeter despite having a favorable matchup. Noah is averaging a career low 3.4 points per game, and many believe he could be dealt before the NBA trade deadline.
History says the Bulls don't have a chance to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers come playoff time. The Bulls are a miserable 0-4 in playoff series' against a James led team.
As for this season, the Bulls clearly have to make some adjustments. The Bulls rank 18th in three point shooting this season, and as we all know, the NBA is being played from the outside more than ever.
There's still a long way to go in this season, but maybe it's just time for the Bulls to rebuild and get value while they still can. This Bulls team isn't going to win the NBA Championship, and they do have a very talented roster. General manager Gar Forman has to just look in the mirror and face reality. Stocking up on younger players and draft picks could very well be the best option for the Bulls to preserve a good future.
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