The Nikola Vucevic era of Chicago Bulls basketball is off to a terrible start.
While the Bulls prized trade deadline acquisition has been individually awesome (20.5 points and nine rebounds per game), Chicago has sputtered to an 0-4 record since securing his services from the Orlando Magic.
If it’s any sign of progress, the losses have slowly gotten less ugly. Perhaps the Bulls worst first half of basketball of the season powered the San Antonio Spurs to a 120-104 victory in Vucevic’s debut. The Bulls loss against the Golden State Warriors a few nights ago was a bit less ugly, and they did hang in there with the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz.
But, when the dust settled the result was still four losses. The Bulls are currently on a six-game losing streak and have dropped eight of their last 10 contests. This tweet by NBC Sports Chicago reporter Rob Schaefer really resonated.
Bulls are 1 loss away from being 10 games under .500, and just 1 game better than their record through 48 in '19-20.— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) April 3, 2021
All isn't lost yet. But if they're going to justify management's trade deadline investment, they have 1 month to "take care of business."https://t.co/hvl7DntSuZ
Of course with all the turn over that happened at the deadline, it’ll take time for guys to mesh. So maybe it shouldn’t be surprising that the Bulls have looked awful at times since Vucevic first began to don the uniform. Also, Zach LaVine has been shaken up which certainly doesn’t help things either.
The question becomes how long are fans of a franchise that hasn’t seen their team be relevant in like six years willing to wait for these guys to figure things out?
To be completely fair, the schedule has been brutal lately. After playing two of the Western Conference’s best in the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz in back-to-back games, they now have to play the Eastern Conference leading Nets. The Nets have had multiple combinations of their superstars out lately, but are still racking up wins, including their last game against Charlotte where they were without Durant and Harden but still had Kyrie Irving and new addition LaMarcus Aldridge, who started at center.
The schedule does soften next week with several games. For a team sitting at 10th in the Eastern Conference how much longer can they continue to keep losing games and still have realistic playoff aspirations?
For the sake of our sanity, it’d be nice to see the Bulls in the win column again.
Big break for the Bulls, as Kevin Durant remains out, and James Harden will be sitting this one as well.
Bad break for the Bulls, as Garrett Temple is still out. I’ve (-yfbb) read that Temple is as important as James Harden if you think about it.
Game Time: NBC Sports Chicago Plus; 1:00 p.m. CDT