The Chicago Bulls are in a bit of turmoil as we speak, and that has cast a shadow over what has been a reasonably productive season.
Derrick Rose is playing basketball on a regular basis, and that alone is a victory for Bulls fans. Joakim Noah has been banged up for a large portion of the season, however, and that would partially explain Chicago’s dip from an elite defensive team to simply an above-average one. In the same breath, the Bulls have received a big season from Pau Gasol (18.7 points, 11.4 rebounds per game) and Jimmy Butler has emerged as a full-fledged star-in-waiting while cementing his candidacy for most improved player honors.
The majority of the player-by-player evaluations are positive in Chicago, and if you polled the majority of NBA pundits, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bulls at the top of everyone’s list of expectations come playoff time in the East. Still, a 27-16 record feels like a disappointment, especially when compared to teams like Atlanta, Toronto and Washington, and that has to be taken into account.
Chicago isn’t as bad as they’ve looked recently, but they still haven’t gelled into the elite team that many expected with Rose back and Gasol on board. That places them in a purgatory of sorts, but the future is bright.