Anything that can do wrong will go wrong and it’s an accurate summarization of the Chicago Bulls season.
The organization has had coaching issues, alleged locker room problems and Rajon Rondo butting heads with Dwyane Wade. On top of that, they’re now 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 33-38 record and have dropped eight of their last 10 contests. Their loss to the Raptors on Tuesday is the pinnacle.
Going into that game, the Bulls hadn’t lost a regular-season game to Toronto since 2013, a winning streak that spans 11 meetings. Chicago had a five-point edge going into halftime and stretched it out even further by the end of the third. Thanks to Jimmy Butler, who’s been the only thing to go right for the Bulls, Chicago extended their lead to 15 after three and seemingly had the game wrapped up.
Butler hung 15 in the frame, and the Raptors defense was unable to stop the Bulls’ shockingly potent offense. And then the Bulls went back to being the Bulls.
A collapse of epic proportions brought back the attention of any fan who had tuned out, and Toronto put up 34 points while holding Chicago to 19 and were able to force overtime after a huge push from their reserves. P.J. Tucker, Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell and Patrick Patterson had 19 of the Raptors 34, but, don’t worry, at least DeRozan was kept in check!
Given what transpired, Chicago’s lucky the game stayed close. Toronto had a load of momentum on their side, and it easily could’ve been a sloppy overtime period for the East’s most mediocre team. Even Butler couldn’t go without acknowledging Toronto’s turnaround.
“They were the aggressors on both sides of the floor, getting layups on one end and stops on the other,” said Butler, per the Associated Press. “Hell, that’s how we were playing for the majority of the game. Whenever you’re playing like that, the game turns quickly.”
It gets even better. Had Chicago held on to win, they would’ve woken up today just one-game back of the eighth-seed as opposed to two. The Detroit Pistons lost an absolute heart-breaker to the Brooklyn Nets that same night, and there are rumbling that both teams could be finished because of how well Miami and Milwaukee are playing.
Detroit’s loss on the fingertips of Brook Lopez‘s buzzer-beater makes them the ninth-seed — one game back of the Heat and one game ahead of Chicago.
The final nail in the coffin came a few days ago after finding a fracture in Dwyane Wade’s elbow that’s going to put him on the bench for the rest of the year. Although he’s far from what he used to be, Wade was a reliable option for Fred Hoiberg and someone who could go out and get 18-20 points a night.
As bad as it’s been in the Windy City, the organization should rejoice with the ease of their remaining schedule. They’ve got 11 games left on the calendar which includes more than winnable games against Brooklyn (two), Philadelphia (two), Orlando, New York and New Orleans.
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