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Bulls vs. Jazz game preview and thread: Sorry not Lauri

Bulls in a weird as heck string of results

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

The last stretch of Bulls games have been very weird. Would we all collectively be feeling better if the Bulls had lost like expected to the Celtics and Bucks, but took care of business against the Magic and Thunder? It’d feel more correct, but I’m not sure. Probably feels just as ‘meh’ regardless.

It’s probably a ‘meh’ group until something drastic changes. In the meantime, they really have to get some of these wins in evenly-matched games, and starting tonight might be good. After one good clutch win, the Bulls season-long lack of productivity in late-and-close situations led to another loss over the weekend. In what the NBA defines as clutch time, the Bulls are fourth worst in the league (via).

It’s a combination of bad luck, DeRozan being merely very good but not superhuman, and Zach LaVine starting to show some of the same bad decisionmaking that he had prior to last season.

It’s all concerning because, like I said, the status quo will likely just make for more of these close games and while they will likely get luckier and win a few it won’t mean they’re demonstrably better as a team when it comes to playoff seeding let alone advancement.

But I am not concerned about how Lauri Markkanen’s playing. I guess he’s doing well, great. We’ve certainly seen Lauri put together good weeks on bad teams, and despite their record the Jazz are designed to be bad. Which takes the pressure off, and that’s when safe GarPax picks can shine! What would the Bulls be like if they kept Lauri and Wendell Carter? They’d probably suck, like they did when those guys were featured as the front line of the future. They have found ‘better’ roles because the ‘be a contributor on a good team’ role didn’t work out here for both parties player and team.

And the Jazz will not be a good team for much longer, and it may already have started to slide. Utah has lost four straight and look to be adrift without Mike Conley. This is the type of game the Bulls need to make up for some of their early season duds.

Injury Report

And Lauri is questionable! I suppose that’s the more accurate answer to ‘where would they be if still on the Bulls?’: hurt

Mike Conley is still out, as is fellow geriatric Rudy Gay

For the Bulls, Alex Caruso is also questionable with a foot injury. Glad we’ve been preserving him with bench minutes this whole season.

Game Time: 8pm Central, NBC Sports Chicago