Chicago Bulls Sound Overdue For Full Rebuild

Chicago Bulls, NBA Trade Rumours
NBA Analysis Network

The 2022-23 NBA season has been a disaster for the Chicago Bulls, reaching a new low point in their 150-122 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. After losing six consecutive games, they are now 11-18 on the season and rank just 11th in the Eastern Conference standings.

Karl-Anthony Towns didn’t play. Rudy Gobert was also out. Anthony Edwards dropped 37 points and 11 assists, while D’Angelo Russell had 28 points and eight assists. The Bulls allowed the Timberwolves to shoot a staggering 65.5 percent from the floor and 53.5 percent from 3-point range with 23 makes. Defensively, it was an unmitigated disaster.

For a team built on offensive firepower, the Bulls have produced just a 110.7 offensive rating (22nd) on the season. It hasn’t been improving on that end compared to the rest of the league lately. However, their defense has completely fallen off a cliff. Chicago’s 116.6 defensive rating over their last five games ranks 25th in the NBA, and they a bottom-five net rating (-5.0) within that span.

After the Bulls’ loss to the Timberwolves, LaVine voiced his frustrations about the outcome — describing it as being “frustrating” and “embarrassing” for the players and fans.

“It’s frustrating for all of us,” LaVine said. “I know it’s frustrating for the fans. It’s embarrassing. We’re all a little embarrassed about it.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan & Chicago Bulls Updates

LaVine highlighted the lack of connectivity the Bulls were playing with and highlighted a lack of effort and communication. While there are leaders on the team trying to lead in their respective way, it’s not combining with the group collective and translating to success on the court.

“You can name whatever you want to. We’re just not getting it done as a unit,” LaVine said. “And until we band together and start helping each other, you’re not going to see a different result. I think that’s the first thing you have to bring. You can’t ask your team for effort each and every night. I think that’s the first thing you have to bring top to bottom. Guys in here are talking. We’re trying to be leaders in our own way, but we’ve got to find a way to get it done.”

The layered attack they have with scoring threats is supposed to be a strength for the Bulls. Between names like DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic, they should have a well-oiled machine offensively. Instead, there appears to be the feeling of selfish play from within the locker room.

“We’re not playing for each other,” Bulls guard Goran Dragic said. “It’s as simple as that. Somebody told me — and he was right — it’s easy to talk about sacrifice. But somebody else’s sacrifice is easier to talk about. But when it comes to you, that you have to sacrifice for the team, then it’s a different story. You have to accept it. But it’s tough.”

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan & Chicago Bulls Updates

There doesn’t appear to be any pathway for turning things around quickly for the Bulls. They went all-in on with non-elite parts to compete for a title in an NBA landscape where simply having a group of good veteran players isn’t enough to get it done. With Lonzo Ball’s terrible injury news recently surfacing, the Bulls are in a tough spot.

Even in the short term, getting on the same page again appears to be a struggle. We’re over 30 games into the 2022-23 season. At what point is it just outright determined that the ceiling of this current group isn’t enough to contend for an NBA title?

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan & Chicago Bulls Updates

The Bulls have a one-two punch on the wing that would be best suited to playing alongside a superstar to set the tone. Neither LaVine nor DeRozan will be the top option on a title team, while Nikola Vucevic can’t anchor a defense sufficiently to contend. They sound better off undergoing a full-scale rebuild to re-establish themselves.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *