The #TNTBulls have now won 20 games in a row. It’s one of the few fun things Bulls fans can hang their hat on, and I can’t get over just how absurd it is. The Bulls have been a mediocre, inconsistent team for a few years now, but they keep winning these damn games, mostly against good teams, even with a bunch of roster turnover.
So, I dove into the numbers to get an idea of what the hell is going on here. Mostly, I looked into how these opponents have fared offensively in these games. The results are astounding:
And for a larger snapshot:
13 of these games have come against teams with top-10 offenses (including all five this year if the rankings hold). The #TNTBulls have held those teams to under their season offensive rating 12 out of 13 times, and in NINE of those games they’ve held them to more than 10 points per 100 possessions below the offensive rating for the season. In 16 of the 20 games overall the #TNTBulls opponent has recorded an offensive rating below their season mark.
#TNTBulls opponents are shooting under 41 percent overall and just over 32 percent from 3. If you average out the offensive ratings over the 20 games it comes to just under 96. This is nearly a quarter of a season, against mostly high-level opponents, with defense that’d be by far the best in the league.
The Bulls deserve credit here for stepping up their defensive intensity in these games. And in about half of these games the opponent has been missing a key offensive player, but it’s not like the Bulls have been totally healthy in these games.
I really can’t explain this success. The Bulls often play well in these games, but it’s a consistent theme for these opponents to completely lay an egg offensively. I don’t know if Paris Club is extra wild on Wednesday night or the #TNTBulls are working some crazy voodoo, but it’s a thing. Let’s enjoy it while it lasts.