Hot take alert: the Chicago Bulls are the worst team in the NBA right now.
The Chicago Bulls are really bad. The Bulls put their ineptitude on full display in a preseason game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday when Milwaukee thrashed Chicago in a 116-82 beatdown.
The score isn’t entirely indicative of how much of a mess the Bulls are. I mean, it’s preseason. The final tally really doesn’t matter all that much. It’s not great to lose by 34 points, of course, but it was the specific way the Bulls lost that was so uninspiring.
Chicago was always going to be a bad defensive team. When the slated starting wing players for a given team are Zach LaVine and Jabari Parker, that team isn’t going to be able to guard anybody. The extra big problem is both of those players were horrible on offense as well.
Parker was an abysmal 1-for-12 from the field and finished the night with two points, giving up far more than that due to sloppy play on the other end. LaVine managed eight points on a 3-for-10 shooting line. Yikes.
Don’t take this all from me alone, though. Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg had even stronger words for his team the next day, which makes sense considering Chicago apparently couldn’t even inbound the ball correctly.
“Last night was every bit as bad as we thought. We had the wrong guys taking the ball out of bounds. We had no rhythm on the offensive end. Defense was awful all night.”
Poor Fred Hoiberg. Lauri Markkanen returning from injury will help out a bit with the offensive woes, although not enough to raise the Bulls out of the cellar. This is a rough situation.
The Atlanta Hawks and Sacramento Kings also deserve consideration as the worst team, as do the New York Knicks now that they could be without Kristaps Porzingis for the entire season, but those teams have some fun young players who could improve them to be a little less garbage.
The Bulls young core is less promising, with every non-Markkanen player either being a huge liability on offense (Kris Dunn) or defense (Parker and LaVine). The caveat here is Wendell Carter, who looked great in Summer League. Even if that holds, Carter is just a rookie, and likely won’t impact Chicago all that much in his first season.
The silver lining in all of this for Chicago is at least the Bulls have all of their first round picks. The Bulls will enjoy the spoils of their awfulness in the form of a nice draft pick in 2019, maybe even the first overall selection. Unfortunately for Bulls fans, the draft is a while off, and until draft day this will be ugly.
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