As the Chicago Bulls integrate Otto Porter Jr. into their starting lineup, can his effort on both ends of the court promote a winning attitude that’s here to stay?
Over the past two seasons, the Chicago Bulls have unfortunately been one of the worst teams in the NBA. Much of their losing falls on the front office integrating a roster filled with young players who are just beginning to get a true feel of their capabilities on an NBA court. The rest of their losing efforts come from an inconsistent motor that is shared among the players while competing.
Out with the old. In with the new. By obtaining small-forward Otto Porter Jr., from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker, the Bulls are hoping that a change of scenery for the former Wizard will help stabilize Chicago’s muddling effort on the court.
Unlike Parker and Portis, who unfortunately spent their time with the Bulls losing games while being in the middle of dysfunctional coaching, Porter Jr. has experienced more of the opposite. A battle-tested, six-year veteran, who is just 25 years old, Porter Jr. has been on multiple playoff runs with the Wizards.
Having valuable playoff experience to lean on certainly won’t go unnoticed among the rest of his new teammates, many of which haven’t even played a postseason game. Porter Jr. played a big role in the Wizards success over the years, providing stout play on both offense and defense.
He isn’t going to out-leap, nor out-run anyone on the court, but Porter Jr. plays with consistent effort. As one of the new leaders on the roster, expect the rest of his teammates to take notes on how he approaches each game.
Despite losing becoming the norm, the Bulls aren’t struggling because they have little talent on their roster. One can easily argue that they have more talent now than they did last season when they won games at a higher winning percentage. Right now, it’s all about playing with a sense of passion and intensity, which is what the front office was seeking more of moving forward when they traded for Porter Jr.
One player isn’t likely going to drastically change the Bulls from being bottom-dwellers in the Eastern Conference anytime soon. After all, they’ll likely still lose plenty of games in the weeks ahead.
Hopefully, though, Porter Jr.’s game and past experiences will help galvanize the Bulls into playing more competitive against teams, regardless of their record. While it might not be reflected in the win column, the Bulls can display more growth as a unit by simply playing in more close contests during the final few months of the season.
That’s the first hurdle the Bulls must pass if they are going to build and maintain a winning culture that’s here to stay in the windy city. You can’t build a winning culture by playing terrific one game, followed by a dud the next.
Hopefully, the Bulls start to realize this now so that their rebuild doesn’t continue to remain stagnant.