The Bulls are 3-7 since the trade deadline and have an overall record of 22-31. They currently sit in the 10th spot in the Eastern Conference. This year the 10th spot puts them in a position to be part of the playoffs via a play-in game. While that would be nice to give the young guy’s playoff experience there’s still one glaring issue. The Bulls defense just isn’t there. The Bulls show night in and night out that they can’t play physical defense. They are currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak and they need to tighten up defensively to get themselves out of it.
"We need to be a whole lot better (defensively) than we are." -Billy Donovan
📰 | @SamSmithHoops game recap:
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) April 12, 2021
Head coach Billy Donovan knows that the team needs to be better defensively. Over the Bull’s three-game losing streak they have lost to two playoff teams along with the worst team in the league. The Bulls can’t drop games to awful teams. They need to win those games if they want to put themselves in a good spot heading into the playoffs. The Bulls need to figure things out defensively as quickly as they can.
How do they fix this?
When it comes to defense there’s no quick fix. Defense is part skill and part effort. If the Bulls want to try and improves things quickly they will need to increase the effort they are showing on the court. One recent addition to the Bulls plays defense well. Billy Donovan knows that but he needs to see more of that from the rest of the team.
Dononvan on the defensive issues: "Theis does it pretty well. But we gotta put our bodies in plays. There are guys driving and we have to either take a charge or go vertical."
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) April 12, 2021
The Bulls need to swarm the paint and force teams to make shots. On many occasions, you can see other teams driving to the basket with ease. The Bulls just don’t put enough people in a position to make stops defensively. The lane stays open and when guys get over to try and help it’s either too late or they have to foul. The Bulls need to crank up the intensity defensively across the board. We need to see more bodies in driving/passing lanes. This team is capable of getting better defensively but their youth hurts them in that regard.
What can we expect from the team moving forward?
If we don’t see the Bulls improve on the defensive end of the floor you can expect to see more losses to bad teams. That’s the harsh reality the team faces right now.
Another really bad loss in a season filled with them. Until the Bulls improve on the defensive end, we’ll continue to see more games like this where bad teams are able to outscore them.
— Mark Schanowski (@MarkSchanowski) April 12, 2021
They know their offense can get hot but that isn’t enough to win games right now. The Bulls average 112.3 PPG currently and there are 15 teams in the league that average more. With the defense, this team plays they are most likely going to lose playing those 15 teams. While the Bulls have relied on high-scoring offense to win the bulk of their games this season they simply can’t do that anymore. If they want to be serious about pushing for the playoffs then they need to improve defensively.
Pushing for the playoffs
This team sits at the 10th seed and technically is in the playoffs. If they want to push for a better seed then they need to get better defensively. There’s a 7 game difference between the Bulls at 10 and the Hawks at 4. So the Bulls certainly could move up in the seeding in the East. It’s time for them to focus and improve on the defensive side of the floor.
Every player on this team wants to make the playoffs this year. This alone should be enough to help Billy Donovan light a fire under the team. If the Bulls are serious about pushing for the playoffs then the defensive intensity certainly needs to improve.