The Chicago Bulls have been hard to figure out.
They had that three-game winning streak last month that had us feeling pretty good, and then predictably preceded to drop one-sided affairs against the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers to where it was still thought they were mediocre just couldn’t beat the contenders.
But then now they’ve dropped three of the last four in games that were all winnable. So are they straight-up bad?
Right now, the Bulls rest at 12th in the conference. But because the Eastern Conference is the Eastern Conference, the Bulls actually sit just one game out of the eighth seed and 1.5 games out of the sixth seed. There are only five teams in the whole conference with a winning record.
The Orlando Magic are one of the teams that stand between the Bulls and one of those coveted playoff spots. Last night, the Magic took care of the Bulls 123-119.
Water is wet and Nikola Vucevic kills the Bulls. The Magic’s veteran big man netted a career-high 43 points with the Bulls having no answer for his physical presence inside (one of the areas where not having Wendell Carter Jr. available hurts). The other big story from the game was another Lauri Markkanen injury, a worrying theme for the Bulls young big man. Markkanen suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter.
The best part of the game was this though:
Quirky scheduling means the Bulls will play the same team twice in a row twice. They got the split against the New York Knicks earlier in the week, but must win the finale tonight to do the same thing against the Magic.
Markkanen is being held out with what’s being called a shoulder ‘sprain’, no more precise prognosis yet. Otto Porter remains out as well. With Carter also gone, we saw Chandler Hutchison unearthed in the 2nd half last night. Could also see Felicio minutes against the beefy Vucevic.
Billy Donovan on why he hasn't used Thad Young as a starter: "I can't keep playing Thad 31 minutes a night."— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) February 6, 2021
He called Young "a warrior" who wouldn't complain in any role.
No change for the Magic from last night.
Game Time: 6 p.m. CDT; NBC Sports Chicago