After seeing the Bulls suffer consecutive 30-point deficits and 20-point losses to open the season, I thought Darnell Mayberry had some proper fire in The Athletic today:
And here we go again. For the second straight season, the Bulls are forcing fans to check out when the marathon has barely begun. It’s a shame, really. This year was supposed to be different. New management arrived. Flashy coaching hires were made. Development was supposed to be apparent up and down this roster. Instead, a team that returned 14 of 17 bodies (include two-way contract players) doesn’t appear to be any better than it was last season.
The joke’s on us for ever thinking it would be.
With Paxson, Forman and Boylen gone, all eyes shifted to the players. The onus is now on them to perform and prove who they are. To this point, it has been an accepted supposition. But it’s faulty logic, and the more the Bulls get embarrassed the more exposed it becomes.
It was management that made the conscious decision to bring back this same roster....no way can anyone point solely to the players. That narrative should end today.
Meanwhile, some of the Bulls players are already a bit panicked. But this does not go with Arturas Karnisovas’s deliberate timeline!
Tomas Satoransky on #Bulls' struggles: "Everyone knows it takes time, but that just happened last year as well. We have to change it immediately. We can be saying always, ‘It’s next game, next we’re going to do better.’ It has to come immediately.”— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) December 27, 2020
The Bulls players likely have more of a sense of urgency than their front office (and those guys’s honeymoon period with the fanbase) as they look at the schedule and see tonight as a possible win.
The Golden State Warriors have had a similarly abysmal start to their own season, also 0-2 with two blowout losses. Though unlike the Bulls they have lost to very good teams in Brooklyn and Milwaukee.
The Warriors defense you could figure would be pretty poor, especially without Draymond Green. But the offense has been putrid as well, including Steph Curry who’s started the season 4/20 from three. Two wings who were to try and replace the out-for-the-season Klay Thompson, Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins, are 2/21 from distance in these first two games as well.
It’s the stoppable object versus the very moveable force as the Bulls defense may be just what those guys needed. Or it’ll serve as a way for Chicago to get itself right and get at least one win before the schedule gets really tough.
Injury report and lineups:
Still just Thad Young out for the Bulls. The rotation was a bit different last night with Satoransky, Garett Temple, and Denzel Valentine playing regular minutes over Ryan Arcidiacono and Chandler Hutchison. It’s probably too early for much change beyond that, tonight’s game likely will see same starters.
For the Warriors, the aforementioned Green is questionable. Marquese Chriss was getting some frontcourt minutes for them but unfortunately just broke his leg and is out for the season. #2 overall pick James Wiseman has been starting at center and playing heavy minutes, which may inform some of GSW’s struggles as well.
Game Time: 7pm
Odds: Just find it interesting that the betting public is not buying that this is a gimme for the Bulls, so therefore no team is. Bulls are +2.