The last few days have been filled with plenty of drama, with Bulls stars Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade at the center of it thanks to their comments after the ugly Hawks meltdown. After everybody tried to “move on” during Friday morning’s media session, the Bulls came out and delivered an embarrassing effort in a 100-88 loss to the streaking Heat.
Butler and Wade were again at the center of this shitshow. Fred Hoiberg tried to flex his muscles by benching Butler and Wade, and the two “alphas” responded by putting forth two absolutely pitiful efforts off the bench.
Butler had his worst game as a Bull, going 1-of-13 from the field and just not looking into it all night (game-worst -23). I don’t doubt the benching messed with him a bit, and everybody is afforded an off game (especially Butler given he’s dragged this team to numerous victories), but given the situation this was a truly disappointing performance from the Bulls’ best player. I didn’t make too much of him taking himself out of the game after his two early fouls, but given the context of all this it still wasn’t a great look:
Here is Jimmy Butler just walking to the bench. There was no one ready to sub for him. pic.twitter.com/AZEgiFkrWE— Chicago Sports News (@ChiSportUpdates) January 28, 2017
Wade wasn’t much better, as he slothed around the court and shot 6-of-17 from the field:
It takes Wade 10 full seconds to walk back on defense. pic.twitter.com/iqKuShrcxX— Stephen Noh (@hungarianjordan) January 28, 2017
I was never a Wade fan before he came to Chicago, and I’m just about done with him given his sporadic play this season and the role he played in this whole mess (although, honestly, it’s probably for the better it’s all going to hell).
Hilariously, Rajon Rondo played his best game in months, putting up 13 points, seven assists, seven rebounds, three steals and recording a +8 after calling out the other two “alphas.” You could say this is “karma,” but I’m not going to give Rondo that much credit given he’s tanked much of this season as bad as Butler and Wade tanked tonight.
If you’re looking for any other positives? Paul Zipser (14 points) and Cristiano Felicio showed some nice effort. That’s about all I got. The Bulls’ effort was lackluster and bad from the very start, with only brief stretches of competence mixed in. They even fell behind by 20 points at one point in the fourth quarter against a team you should never fall behind by 20 against.
This despicable performance has my hand hovering over the blow-it-up button. I’m still Team Jimmy and this disaster doesn’t change my opinion about any potential trade value if the Bulls look to go that route, but I don’t know what the hell he was doing out there tonight.
But, again, these issues go deeper than Jimmy Butler or anybody else on this roster. This all starts at the top, and any nuclear option needs to also feature Gar Forman and/or John Paxson not having the jobs they have anymore. The Bulls are falling apart at the seams, and this was all too predictable when the roster was put together in the summer.
The funny thing? They’re still the No. 8 seed. Not that that means anything.