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Bulls vs. Grizzlies game preview and thread: will total inability to guard the perimeter haunt them tonight of course it will

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oh no, we suck again!

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Memphis Grizzlies Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ever since this completely wretched Tweet, the Bulls have gone downhill.

Yes, even I find the Bulls ‘real’ in that they’re trying as a franchise, and they’re still going to make the play-in , but it is starting to get a bit concerning after giving up 120 points in games to the Hawks and Timberwolves. They just don’t look very improved, despite drastically upgrading their present-day talent at the trade deadline.

This was meant to be the easy part of the schedule, helped by some good injury luck. This luck will turn for the Bulls eventually - I don’t see how it can’t, playing this many games this closely together is a lower-body time bomb - and we just have to hope it’s not right at the play-in tournament. Getting all the way up to the 6th seed seems really unlikely, though just being 7th or 8th means you just need to win 1 game instead of 2, which is obviously a significant difference in difficulty to getting in the real playoffs.

I don’t know really how to analyze last night’s loss to the Timberwolves. In terms of offensive weapons, Minnesota may actually be more armed than the Bulls. So it means the supporting players and coaching have to make up the difference, and Chicago just didn’t. And that isn’t to excuse LaVine and Vucevic...their team was within a couple baskets with 5 minutes to go and couldn’t get it done. A lot has changed in the offense but they still struggle with turnovers and free-throw disparity.

Defensively, it’s just a continuing shitshow at the point of attack. The Bulls have pretty much zero options to defend guards. LaVine is improved but still bad, Coby White is a total disaster, Satoransky and Williams are solid but too slow at those positions. Troy Brown has looked ok but ultimately doesn’t produced results either and was beat multiple times last night. Temple is seemingly never returning. Arch should be cut. That’s been a problem all year. If the team defense is this much worse now putting Vuc in the middle to where you’re then limiting his minutes...woo boy, that’s a disastrous result of this trade.

The test tonight happens to have a dynamic ass kicker of a lead guard in Ja Morant. The Memphis Grizzlies are in the 8th spot in the real conference, and that’s with one of their young stars Jaren Jackson not playing all year. In the past stretch they’ve actually beaten both Minnesota and Atlanta where the Bulls couldn’t. Though they lost to Pacers last night, and by the way Sabonis and Brogdon returned after missing that tilt against the Bulls. Maybe the Bulls need to win a game against a team not missing several very good players before they’re declared ‘real’ for a thousand likes? Or just stay off Twitter already, yfbb.

Injury Report:

I think Temple is out, if not officially.

For the Griz, I don’t see an update for today but last night saw De’Anthony Melton, Jontay Porter, Justise Winslow all out.

Game Time: 8pm (ugh), NBC Sports Chicago PLUS