There’s no chance the Chicago Bulls don’t make the postseason, but at this rate, with this kind of basketball, what’s the point? The Derrick Rose emotional roller-coaster continues, as it seems that with every delay of his return, the Bulls are playing worse, this time losing by 42 points to the Sacramento Kings.
One of the best defenses in the NBA is allowed to have a bad night once in a while, but there’s a limit to everything, and even if the Kings are averaging near 110 points a night since the All-Star break, this isn’t how the Bulls are supposed to look. And still, it’s amazing to see Nate Robinson, a point guard in his 8th season, having no ability what so ever to run an organized offense, as the Bulls continue to rely on effort, luck and hustle, which simply isn’t enough when the other side is playing good basketball.
The Bulls seemed to reach some sort of peak, getting to 29-18 early in February, but have since gone 6-11, losing four of their last five; not scoring more than 92 points in each of their last five games, and not reaching that magical 100 mark since February 22, when they beat the Charlotte Bobcats. Yes, with all of the compliments to Tom Thibodeau, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Jimmy Butler, the Bulls couldn’t be doing any worse at the moment.
It was embarrassing, man. It’s hard to put into words. Our level of intensity was very poor. Our readiness to play was very poor. But I’m probably most disappointed in me. It’s my job to have them ready. We can’t come out like that, that’s on me. I have to drive them harder and I will.
We’re not playing well offensively or defensively. It’s no time to make excuses about injuries. We need to find a way to bounce back. We just have to move on fast and get ready for Golden State on Friday. They are a lot better team than this team the Kings.
The Bulls shot once again under 40% from the field (38.6%), turning the ball over 17 times. The Kings shot 54% from the field while giving up the ball a season-low 5 times. There are games where everything you do works out, but it has to do with the other team not showing up, and the Bulls are having a hard time bringing the kind of intensity they had during better stretches of the season, when their defense held them together regardless of who was injured and what player was running the point.
The Bulls will make the playoffs, currently tied for 5-6-7 with the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks. Rose is contemplating his return, probably towards sitting out the rest of the season, something the front office isn’t too happy with. If things keep slipping and the Milwaukee Bucks make a move towards a spot that avoids getting the Miami Heat in the first round, than things will start to get tense for Rose, feeling more pressure for him to return.
This Bulls team is confident that when healthy, without Rose that is, they’re good enough to beat any team in the NBA in the series, with the Miami Heat being the exception. They need to look out that their current offensive drought doesn’t slide them to 8th.