Chicago Bulls: Outlook for the rest of the season

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 13: Bobby Portis
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 13: Bobby Portis /

The Chicago Bulls terrible start to the 2017-18 season comes as no surprise to any fan. Rumors have already started to swirl around Chicago as to who the Bulls will select with a potential No.1 overall pick.

Staying the Course

The Bulls currently sit at 2-10 and own the worst record in the Eastern Conference. According to ESPN, the Bulls rank dead last in total points-per-game, averaging under 93 points. This is a very significant figure to look at because of how far the Bulls are from the Miami Heat, who rank No.29 in PPG. According to ESPN, the Heat average around 101 points-per-game. This lack of offense translates into a struggle into general offensive efficiency, as the Bulls rank No.30 in the league in offensive efficiency, according to ESPN.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images /

Like most of the struggles the Bulls have had this season, you wouldn’t really expect much else. This team’s best offensive weapon is rookie Lauri Markkanen, who has shown flashes of greatness in the first few weeks. According to ESPN, the Arizona product only trails Bobby Portis in average points per game and had been leading the Bulls in points until Portis began playing this season.

A scary rate

Even with their incredibly low standards, the Bulls are losing at a scary rate. According to ESPN, they currently rank No.29 in the league with a -10.5  points differential. In addition to that, they have lost two of their twelve games by 20+ points. Out of their ten losses, six of them have come by double digits.

There isn’t much that can change this situation, but it just seems like this is only going to get worse.

It’s crazy to think that the NBA has already hit week five of its regular season. While the Bulls don’t look like they will fight with the 2011-12 Charlotte Bobcats for the worst team in the modern era, they will have no more than 25 wins.

Downright pathetic

Looking back the terrible 2011-12 season for the Charlotte Bobcats really makes you wonder how they were even an NBA team. According to basketball-reference, the Bobcats ended their regular season losing 23 straight games. Again, I don’t think the Bulls will come anywhere a losing streak of that kind. However, I believe that they will “achieve” a similar statistic that would make comparing the two squads interesting.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The two 20+ point losses through eleven games is an important statistic to look at. While it’s hard to judge just how many 20+ point losses the Bulls will actually have this season, we can make some educated guesses.

Here is the remaining schedule for the Bulls this season:

Even with excluding the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers, I see at least eight games where the Bulls will be considered heavy underdogs. Four games at the Celtics, two against the Warriors and Rockets all scream bad losses for the Bulls.

Let’s just say for the sake of making things interesting that the Bulls lost all of these games by over 20 points. It’s still very hard to determine if it were to happen, but the Bulls could finish very close to the 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks and finish with the worst point differential in NBA history. According to, the Mavs finished with a -15.2 point differential.

The interpretation

I’m not a crazy stats guy, but if the Bulls were actually to come close to this number, they probably would also have less than 25 wins. It takes a very special team (in a bad way) to lose your games on an average of 15 points. Just for reference, the 2011-12 Bobcats had a -13.9 points differential, according to ESPN.

As the season continues to mull on, more questions about what the future of this team will arise. There is no doubt that the Bulls are committed to a complete rebuild, but they need to make sure they have a physical direction with the rebuild. I believe that in order to get the wheels turning on a rebuild, you need to have a player to build around.

Next: Looking at the Bulls loss to the Thunder

The major question is if it’s Lauri Markannen or Zach Lavine that could be that piece to build around. I think the talent is there for both of these players, but I don’t know if they have the all-around pieces to be that capstone player.