If we’re being honest, losing to the Cavaliers last night shouldn’t have been that surprising. The Cavs were fully healthy, and their roster isn’t that terrible then. Plus they have the Bulls kryptonite: guards
Meanwhile, the Bulls have around 1.5 capable non-frontcourt players, and one is out.
That said, they shouldn’t have lost that badly that quickly, especially considering they just beat the exact team a week ago. As the saying goes: if Garrett Temple is your most important non-big, then Garrett Temple is your most important non-big. The vaunted defensive improvement of replacing Zach LaVine’s minutes lasted all of one game, as did the reduction in turnovers. One could make a lowlight reel of all of the really bad mistakes, though I think this one below is my favorite. As Stacey King would say: that’s your point guard right there.
so many ridiculous turnovers, and I watched much of the game in 1x fast-forward (2x when Arch plays, skip-to-end when Felicio plays), but this was especially pathetic. I think it's the halfhearted attempt to save a few seconds on the clock beforehand. pic.twitter.com/nKnz89lyKg— BlogABull.com (@BullsBlogger) April 22, 2021
The neglect shown by this franchise to the point guard position and really any guard/wing depth is progressing towards stubborn spite? With no Troy Brown Jr. in addition to Zach LaVine, this is why you try to refresh and use the back-end of the roster. All offseason, all they did was merely sign Temple (that’s the only adjective for a Garrett Temple signing, ‘merely’), then at the trade deadline made a huge acquisition but it only further imbalanced the roster towards the frontcourt, AND put more pressure on the guards defensively. So you couldn’t trade for Lonzo Ball, ok, but the likes of Delon Wright and Cory Joseph were moved. Then after the deadline when rosters are stabilized and serviceable guys are available you instead keep total dead weight?
We’re really aiming low here, just someone who can dribble a ball and maybe do one more thing, which would put them ahead of Arcidiacono at least and on some nights be the best guard available. They have rookie Devon Dotson under contract (which is all it takes to be on the roster) but despite being a ‘player development franchise’ (this consists of saying that to the media a lot and them repeating it), Donovan refuses to give him a try. That’s a bit annoying but should be expected by AKME - find someone who they will play. If they thought Devonte Green would replace Denzel Valentine but Donovan disagrees, then cut Green too.
This is all pretty over-the-top, because just like the win over the Celtics, the loss last night, and expected victory tonight, it’s all based on the schedule and who’s playing. They could’ve worked a bit harder to give themselves less margin for error, especially when key injuries hit (and they were always going to!) but as it stands now I still think they’ll back into this play-in spot. Yeah, tonight is one of the few remaining against the lower-third of the league, but a lot of these later games against contenders will see them resting dudes and the Bulls will try. I don’t think they were blown out last night due to lack of effort, they just kinda suck.
This is da key to victory: no Gordon Hayward, no LaMelo Ball, no Malik Monk, and Charlotte was never that deep to begin with. They do have an extra day of rest compared to the Bulls, last playing 2 night ago and blown out by the Knicks.
For the Bulls, LaVine and Brown are out like last night. Arcidiacono will get minutes in a game they need to win, that’s an indictment!
Game Time: pushed later, 8pm central on NBC Sports Chicago