We’re trying...sorta. Maybe as much as the Bulls are. You can find analysis here for (some of) the games from our writers, but it’s tough not to look at covering these games as anything but a useless endeavor. I think the general perception will be accurate, in that this entire post all-star-break slate of games was meaningless, and encroaching on insulting.
Someone else still doing work is The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry. And his dispatch from Saturday’s game in Detroit - apparently there was a game - should be remembered even if the game itself shouldn’t:
At their best, the Bulls have been able to atone for their atrocious defense and keep pace with hot shooting. We saw it against Cleveland inside the United Center last week, when the Bulls made 16 3s and Denzel Valentine erupted for a career-high 34 points. But when the shots aren’t falling, things devolve into one big mess.
Defensively, the Bulls’ mishmash lineups don’t stand a chance and they’re doing nothing but serving as a detriment to development. There’s no rhythm or rotations, communication or cohesiveness. Instead, there’s chaos.
Think of Saturday’s awful showing the next time the Bulls trumpet this home stretch as some sort of benefit for player development. Injuries are one thing, but these junk lineups have done nothing but serve as a detriment while leading to some lopsided losses.
Indeed, player development is a lie.
I suppose it’s hypocritical to say the Bulls aren’t doing enough for their development, yet also that they should’ve ‘tanked’ more earlier in the season. Personally I would’ve probably preferred just playing out the string with an actual eye towards development and assume the losses would’ve come anyway. Would’ve tried my best not to get annoyed by wins assuming the tank was dead by Niko’s hand (after Bobby’s hand) in December. But maybe there truly isn’t a happy medium between strategically losing yet also actually giving young players minutes of value. And that the organization needs luck more than better process, because the latter is beyond their capabilities.
I guess I’m already steeling myself to remain vigilant against the Bulls actually pumping up this season if it ends on a 14-game losing streak and zero things learned about the roster. And what I’m asking for is pretty simple: fire GarPax and Hoiberg for tanking the final 25 games, and also fire them for not tanking the previous 57.