Chicago Bulls: Will it get worse before it gets better?

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

With a plethora of young talent, the Chicago Bulls should be a team on the rise. However, the 2018-2019 campaign has been disappointing for the Bulls.

Heading into the 2018-2019 campaign, there were a lot of questions for the Chicago Bulls. Would Lauri Markkanen take the next step after a promising rookie season? Would Zach Lavine finally back to 100% after an ACL tear that ended his 2016-2017 season? How about point guard? Who would step up and fill the void when the Bulls traded Derrick Rose in the summer of 2016?

Then, just weeks before Christmas, the Gar Forman and John Paxson let go of Fred Hoiberg, a guy who was supposed to turn the Bulls offense around. Essentially, at the time, a team that had lost ten of their last eleven games, the Bulls decided to pull the trigger on a coach that was never really given a chance.

All of a sudden, Jim Boylen was named head coach and in 15 game span, he’s compiled a record of 5-10.

From the start, Boylen’s tenure has been nothing short of rocky. His players nearly turned on him for holding practices that would overwork them. Although practices are necessary, resting players is also crucial as in the NBA, teams often play three or four games each week, which in the course of a long season can have an effect on players.

With the young core that the Bulls have, they should at least be showing progress, learning how to win. Unfortunately, for this team, they’ve been too inconsistent. The Bulls haven’t won three consecutive games all season and have had multiple different combinations for their starting lineup.

The only silver lining in another lost season is that the Bulls may hopefully end up with another high draft pick. And by saying hopefully, I’m being generous because the NBA’s draft lottery system doesn’t guarantee any team a high draft pick, no matter how bad the record is.

With instability on both the court and in the front office, the arrow for the Bulls appears to be pointing sideways right now. There’s no clear direction or vision of this team, meaning that it’s hard to predict what the Bulls want to do. Sure, it’s easy to say that they are building for the future, but you’d think that in a weaker Eastern conference, Jim Boylen would at least have this team competing for the eighth seed.

After Friday nights loss to the Indiana Pacers in triple overtime, the Bulls now sit five games out of a playoff spot and are bottom dwellers in the Eastern Conference. While that was arguably the best game the Bulls played since Jim Boylen took over, it’s still not enough to change fans opinions about how this season has gone so far.

Maybe the Bulls are just a young team that’s learning to still play together. Maybe Jim Boylen needs more time to turn the Bulls into the team he envisions. Whatever the case may be, the Bulls may not be necessarily sinking, but they certainly aren’t getting any better. Unless Jim Boylen manages to instill some life into this franchise, things could get worse before they get any better.