Before the All Star break last week I was ready to throw in the towel on the Bulls season even though I still had a tad bit of hope they would at least make the first round of the playoffs again. I always try to be optimistic even when my teams are struggling. As a result, I am always holding out hope until they have been eliminated from the playoff race.
Then they signed Patrick Beverley after the Orlando Magic bought out his contract following the trade!
With Lonzo Ball out the Bulls have been in need of a defensive player and a three point shooter. The Beverley signing instantly gave the Bulls a three point shooter in their back pocket according to many local sports reporters because he has been taking better more consistent shots this season. Moreover though, he came in and immediately lit a fire under the butts of the guys.
Zach LaVine wanted the Bulls to get Beverley according to one report and now that they have he told the media that he things this was the push the team needed to make the playoffs. In their last ten games before the break they were 3 and 7 and there were reports that teammates of his wanted him gone for different reasons. I discussed this in my article three weeks ago about the trade deadline.
Since the break the Bulls are 2 and 0. They have crushed the Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards. As I write this article they are half a game out of the play-in tournament. If the season were to end today they would get a lotto pick and have a chance at getting one of many top players in this summers draft.
Many reporters are calling for them to lose out while also hoping for the Bulls to get the number one pick which by all accounts will be French basketball star Victor Wembanyama. I wrote about this back in November at which time I did not think Ball would be out all season and definitely had no feeling that his career could be over. As much as it now sounds like Ball’s career is over… I am going to be realistic here though and say the Bulls will not intentionally tank because there is no guarantee that at this point tanking would get them the number one pick. If that was what they wanted to do then they should have been taking since January to have a better chance at a higher lotto pick.
I think the Bulls were in desperate need of the break and that is why they were struggling the last twenty games or so. I believe the games against the Toronto Raptors and Detroit Pistons the next two nights will tell the tale about if they needed a push from someone like Beverley and make the play-in tournament or not.
With that it is time for tipoff.
If you cannot play with them, root for them!