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Bulls vs. Bucks preview and thread: we’re in the dregs of an average season

Bulls may win tonight, they’ve beat good teams before

New York Knicks v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

What is there to even say about this year’s Bulls? They’re not good. They’re not terrible. They have a somewhat consistent path to victories but it’s so marginal they frequently fall short, or get close and blow it. Or sometimes the other team blows it, like in a couple wins in the recent 3-game winning streak. Only to come home and give up 130 to the Rockets.

It’ll continue like this. There is no point analyzing the schedule because any good NBA team can have an off night and lose. And the Bulls are not good enough to consistently outplay the worse teams.

There is no point in analyzing the trade deadline because it’s still weeks away and there is no indication the front office even sees a problem, let alone will do something about it. I warned everyone when AK took weeks to fire Jim Boylen. That was assessed as ‘thorough’, but in the time since - outside of the flurry of one July day - they’ve been ‘dithering’.

So the slop trough needs to get filled somehow, and so we can read rumors from ‘executives on other teams’ and worse just pure speculation on what the Bulls ‘have’ to do.

They don’t have to do anything! KC Johnson said in a recent podcast that the team’s slide that thudded in that loss in Minnesota “didn’t move” AKME. Nothing will provide internal pressure this season. The team has talent, and obviously the front office believes in them because it’s of their own doing, and they will win some and lose some. They may even win tonight. They’ll hang around the play-in race, and their pick protection is too light to have it be a meaningful percentage difference if they tried instead to lose a lot.

They still have the carrot of Lonzo Ball’s return, and you can’t say (can’t!) that the team didn’t reach their goals of the 2nd round of the playoffs because they haven’t failed yet. We’ve seen in the past that AK needs extra time for evaluation for things that other GMs know already (or better: proactively assess).

The only possibility for urgency is from external pressure. That’d come in the trade deadline being a, well, deadline. Vuc’s contract expiring. Or some team blows them away with an offer for DeMar DeRozan or perhaps Alex Caruso.

But that’s like 6 weeks away! So we have a lot of game previews and recaps until then, and honestly they’re all kinda running together at this point.

Injury Report:

Caruso, Green, and Jones are all varied degrees of possibly not returning.

For the Bucks, they’re holding out Khris Middleton. But Jrue Holiday is probable.

Game Time: 7pm central, NBC Sports Chicago