The Chicago Bulls have dropped five in a row after getting thrashed by the Boston Celtics on Sunday. That has dropped Chicago out of the playoffs in the East. While the Bulls are just 1.5 games out, with hot teams such as the Bucks and Heat ahead of them that ground seems like a lot to make up. Fivethirtyeight.com gives the Bulls a 33 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Bulls management traded Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott — two key forwards in their rotation — away at the trade deadline for a young player such as Cameron Payne, signaling that a playoff push was not as big a priority as building for the future. From Vincent Goodwill at CSNChicago.com.
“We’re doing everything we can to compete to win, at the same time we have some young guys we wanna get on the floor. It’s a balance,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It’s guys, we want to get them out there and see how they play then make a decision in the second half.”
All of this leads to the question, “What exactly is the Bulls’ plan going forward?” The front office says one exists, but it’s hard to discern exactly what it is.
“It’s tough,” Dwyane Wade said. “Especially when you’re playing teams that’s ready for the playoffs, besides Orlando. It’s all been playoff teams and they’re ready. They know what they gotta do. We’re still… experimenting….
“A lot of people have a lot of things they can say about Fred (Hoiberg) as a coach but I will defend him on this: this is a tough situation he’s been put in,” Wade said. “I’m glad I’m on this side, glad I got a jersey and I don’t have to make certain decisions because it is tough…
“I don’t know. I wish upper management could be answering the questions because I’m tired of answering them every game,” Wade said. “I don’t know. I wish I had the answer. I don’t wanna say too much, I don’t wanna say the wrong thing. I just wanna get out there, try to play and lead. Figure out a way me and Jimmy can be better. Right now they’re just watching us on pick and rolls, we gotta find a way to be better, so we can help everybody else be better.”
The Bulls could sneak into the playoffs, maybe, but it doesn’t answer the bigger questions about the direction of the franchise. Sure, the Spurs are able to both win at a high level and develop guys for the future — as soon as the Bulls display that level of competence I’ll say they are walking that line. Right now that’s not happening, they are just weaving all over the place.