The Chicago Bulls have hit a skid lately, the team has lost four games in a row and has now dropped to fourth place in the NBA‘s Eastern Conference. It’s no secret that the Bulls have struggled with injuries this season and are still waiting on the returns of Alex Caruso, Lonzo Ball, and Patrick Williams.
While the Bulls have been shorthanded DeMar DeRozan has done his best to carry the team and has done an incredible job. DeRozan went on a historic run recently of eight straight games with at least 35 points and 50% shooting from the field and he also came just one game short of tying Michael Jordan’s franchise record of 11 straight 30 point games.
That run by DeRozan had the Bulls still in second place at the All-Star break, but since then the team has struggled as his numbers have come back down to earth. During the four-game losing streak, DeRozan has averaged 25 points per game and has shot just 40 percent from the field.
The Bulls’ recent issues don’t rest solely on DeRozan of course. The team has struggled mightily at the defensive end, allowing 119 points per game during the losing streak.
Jason Goff, the Bulls Studio Host on NBC Sports Chicago, recently discussed the team’s struggles on his podcast, The Full Go with Jason Goff:
What I saw against the Milwaukee Bucks … was a team that did everything they possibly could do and the Milwaukee Bucks just turned it up in the fourth quarter, they kept them close and turned it up in the fourth quarter. Jrue Holiday started going at Ayo Dosunmu … Jrue just took him into the post and bullied him. Giannis Antetokounmpo got the easiest 32 and 17 that you’ll ever see in your life. The Milwaukee Bucks are a different class of team and it’s where the Bulls are trying to ascend to.
Look around Bulls fans, everybody is gearing up for playoff basketball, while the Bulls are still talking about Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso getting back, these teams are gearing up. It’s the playoff push right now, it’s the last 20 games of the season for all these teams and especially in the Eastern Conference where one through six is separated by, what, five-and-a-half, six games, you go on a three or four-game losing streak like the Bulls have you’ll find yourself in the play-in game.
Among the Bulls problems Goff cited that he believes DeRozan is tired after carrying so much this season. He also discussed the Bulls’ recent use of a two-big lineup with Tristan Thompson and Nikola Vucevic and how that has changed the spacing on the floor. With Thompson’s defender staying near the basket when he’s on the floor the driving lanes aren’t there for the Bulls’ wings.
Not Slept on Anymore
Going into the All-Star break it felt like the Bulls were being overlooked. Not many people were talking about the team and it even felt at the time that DeRozan was being overlooked in the MVP discussion, but things have changed now according to Goff
“If you had any idea of the Bulls being slept on…that sh**’s coming to an end Bulls fans. The sleeping on the Bulls thing we’re past that…What we’re finding out now is what the Bulls are, what they are made of character-wise.”
Right now it’s hard to know what to expect from the Bulls down the stretch. The team is in a tough spot being shorthanded with injuries and also trying to figure out when to bring those guys back.
With 18 games left in the regular season, the Bulls also have the toughest remaining schedule according to Tankathon.com. The best bet for this team is to get healthy and hopefully they’ll be able to keep themselves out of the play-in game.