Friday, April 19, 2024

Chicago Bulls Set To Make History During All-Star Weekend


The NBA’s All-Star weekend has arrived, and the Bulls will head into it with a 26-29 standing, fresh off of a closely contested fourth-quarter loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. After a tight game throughout, a late turnover by Coby White and a heave at the buzzer led to the 108-105 defeat. They now sit ninth in the Eastern Conference, wedged four and a half games out of the sixth seed, avoiding the Play-In tournament, and the same distance from being removed from playoff contention altogether. This weekend, the All-Star game will not have a Chicago representative for the first time in four years, but they’re battling even more significant history during the break.

Bulls Blanked For First Time In Nearly 50 Years

Finding themselves on the wrong side of history, the Bulls will not have a single participant this weekend for the first time in 44 years. Every season since 1980 has featured at least one player on behalf of the Chicago Bulls, whether in the Rising Stars Challenge, the Three-Point Contest, the Skills Challenge, or the All-Star game itself.

The most likely candidates would have first been Zach LaVine, selected twice in the last four years, who had an abysmal season and was riddled with injuries. He has only appeared in 23 games and underwent season-ending surgery earlier this month. Next, DeMar DeRozan has been a consistent candidate. A six-time All-Star and back-to-back nominee, his numbers took a severe dip in production, efficiency, and overall output. Turning 35 this summer, it’s probably better for Chicago in contract negotiations that he wasn’t given the nod this weekend.

Lastly, Coby White could have been offered a spot, if not for the All-Star game, certainly for the Three-Point Contest. He had a stretch of 12 out of 14 games earlier this season where he canned four or more three-point field goals, including two of seven or more. He also sits in the top ten for three-point field goals made on the season.

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Much Needed Break

Even though the Bulls may not have anyone repping their brand at the All-Star game in Indianapolis, they are still thankful to see this weekend arrive. Losing two of their last three dramatically on the road, they’ll need to regroup quickly as they host the top-seeded Boston Celtics immediately following the time off. In the first meeting between these two, Boston routed the Bulls and tacked on extra as the time expired to fit the league’s tie-breaking rules for the In-Season tournament. The final score was 124-97, and they’ll meet three times by season’s end.

After a silent deadline sans any trades by the Bulls’ front office, anyone associated with the organization was disappointed, knowing the mediocrity they’d been experiencing for 31 months since their last trade was destined to continue at least until the summer. With just 27 games left and the 12th most difficult schedule leaguewide, the Bulls will need a miracle for any result other than a mirror image of last year, an In-Season tournament berth and loss.

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