The play-in tournament has done its job in dissuading tanking. Even a team that is of average construction and subpar performance, like the 2022-23 Chicago Bulls, is ‘in the hunt’.
Despite all the disappointing L’s to inferior competition…despite all the hand-wringing about the roster construction…the Red Leviathan enters the day only 3 games out of the #6 spot…w/ a fantastic record vs all the teams who stand in their way of making the miracle. #SeeRed pic.twitter.com/MijGasPihK— See Red Fred (@cbefred) February 5, 2023
It’s one thing for fans, and ‘observers’, to be fooled. But the front office is hired to look beyond surface level stats, plus project into the future, and figure out where their team stands before the trade deadline.
For example, the Bulls have been better defensively of late, but we cannot seriously believe they’re a good unit. They’ve gotten lucky.
here's the last 13 games, where Bulls opponents are shooting 4% points worse from 3 than the next closest team lol pic.twitter.com/cf8Lix07Xf— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) February 5, 2023
They’ll likely continue to be lucky tonight because they’re facing a truly bad team subject to real turd nights. And they’re at home.
But maybe they blow it, they have before.
Patrick Williams, on losing to Spurs earlier this season: “Everybody knows how we felt in the locker room after that game. And we don’t want to feel that way again.”— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) February 6, 2023
Because they’re not good. Hopefully AK sees that, and either realizes they need to get better or get worse (and better positioned for next season). If he says ‘well, we had a good stretch in blah blah blah drone on fall asleep...’ he’s not good at his job.
For the Bulls, Alex Caruso remains questionable to play after missing the team’s last game. Patrick Williams remains probable after participating in the last game.
For the Spurs, all of Tre Jones, Romeo Langford, Jeremy Sochan, and Devin Vassell are out. No made up names in that group, all on the official report.
Game Time: 7 pm Central, NBC Sports Chicago