This just gets uglier and uglier.
Your 2022-23 Chicago Bulls are just not very good. After a brutal four-game losing streak, Chicago “improved” to a 12-18 record yesterday, thanks to a pretty meaningless road win against a Miami Heat team without two starters (including The Bull That Got Away).
Last night, embattled $215 million man Zach LaVine poured in an efficient 21 points (7-of-13 shooting), along with seven dimes and six boards. In fact, all of the Bulls’ “Big Three” played well, combining for his 70 of Chicago’s 113 points.
My own derision stems from team ownership’s frugality and relative apathy. The Reinsdorfs never want to invest in the team, to the point where it seems they are more or less uninterested in ever dipping into the NBA’s luxury tax to sign exciting potential fits (as happened last season). Are they cutting corners when it comes to building out their coaching staff, front office, and/or medical personnel? Quite possibly.
If the ‘dorfs don’t want the responsibility that comes with navigating a classic franchise to the level of the Bulls, they owe it to one of the most devoted fanbases in the league to find someone who does.
Sell the team, Jerry. Make $4 billion, the gold-est parachute of all.
But right, there’s an actual basketball game left to be played tonight. Hot off a two-game mini-win streak, the 16-15 Hawks are hoping to vanquish the Bulls for the second time in this month. As you may recall, Atlanta last beat Chicago a week ago with a buzzer-beating AJ Griffin overtime fadeaway jumper.
Let’s be honest, Chicago got pretty darn lucky to get to beat a Miami team missing Jimmy Butler last night. If the Hawks have (most of) their full complement of players available, they also boast a rest advantage. And unlike last matchup, Dejonte Murray and John Collins are both playing.
Atlanta should win handily, further driving the nail into the coffin of the Bulls’ 2022-23 NBA season. If looking for optimism, perhaps with no threat of Clint Capella (more on that soon) manning the middle, Nikola Vucevic can give us an encore performance in the neighborhood of his 29-point, 12-rebound Tuesday.
The Hawks will be without starting center Capela around the rim, which will mean more minutes for Onkeya Okungwo. Two-way signing Jarrett Culver is with the team’s NBA G League franchise, the College Park Skyhawks.
For the Bulls, Derrick Jones is OUT after leaving last night’s game with a sprained ankle. Goran Dragic is also OUT with an ankle injury after playing somewhat-heavier minutes in last night’s victory. Javonte Green remains doubtful, and Alex Caruso is questionable.
Game Time: 6:30 p.m. Central on NBC Sports Chicago.