Friday, April 19, 2024

Bulls’ Historic Outing In The United Center Ends With Crowd Chiming In


After an impressive comeback win against the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday evening, Chicago clearly never got off the plane when it landed home in Illinois. Dropping their fourth decision in their last six meetings, this one had a few extra additives that made it incredibly embarrassing. With their three best deep range threats combining for 0-for-15 beyond the arc, the Bulls could never find the bottom of the cup from start to finish. What does this game do to the team headed down the most crucial stretch of the season, and how does Billy Donovan see this group moving past a showing like this?

Detroit’s Got Their Number

The Pistons have been historically bad this season, to the level of setting the professional sport’s all-time losing record earlier this season and only having eight wins headed into tonight’s game in 57 contests. In three meetings against the Bulls this year, they’ve now won two of the three, including their last win before the historic losing streak.

The fanbase won’t complain about gaining more evidence to use against the front office after a silent trade deadline. While this loss stings amidst a Play-In Tournament race, it’s becoming more apparent each game that the current roster is not a championship-caliber one or even a playoff contender. Matching up against eight playoff teams in their next nine outings, the Bulls can ill afford to drop games like the one they did tonight.

Historically Bad Three-Point Shooting Night

The silver lining of losing to the worst team in the NBA and only scoring 95 points on the last-ranked defense is the rarity of tonight’s poor three-point shooting. While others have taken more attempts and made for a slightly higher shooting percentage, tonight’s abysmal performance from deep was the worst in the league this year. Chicago shot 2-for-29, or 6.9%, from three-point range. Nikola Vucevic and Dalen Terry were the only two to score a three-point field goal.

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Donovan quickly shrugged tonight’s woes off to an anomaly from three-point territory. He came to a swift defense of his team, saying that poor of a shooting night would not typically amass to only a ten-point deficit. On some levels, he’s correct, but on others, it’s hard to agree in any capacity with losing to the league’s worst record. He also noted that Coby White’s struggles can be attributed heavily to being the number one option for enough time that the opposition now throws their best defender his way, game plans around his skillset, and intentionally deters his three-point-seeking abilities.

As the clock dwindled and Chicago’s defeat became apparent, the crowd quickly thinned with under three minutes remaining, accompanied by boos reigning down onto the court. While this group may not deserve the direct frustration of the fanbase because it’s mainly the ruins of an injury-ridden team now made up of young and scrappy players, the message should be heard throughout the entire organization. Frustrations that began over a nearly-dormant summer continued through a completely ghosted trade deadline and have spilled into a crawl to the Play-In Tournament, finally hitting their boiling point. The Bulls’ front office will be on the hot seat again this offseason if it ends in a Play-In loss, mirroring last season’s result.

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