Remember when the 8-seed Bulls were up 2-0 on the Celtics? Remember when fans that turned their back to them months ago (including me) suddenly turned back around? Remember when Rajon Rondo went down after being arguably the series MVP so far? Remember when Bulls had a legit chance at a title?….no I do not remember that one.
The Chicago Bulls 2016-2017 season is over after falling to the Celtics in game 6 by a score of 105-83. Looking like a team that was lost and did not want to be there, the Bulls never really had a shot in this one, playing from behind the entire game. Butler scored 23 points while Wade scored two points in 19:12 minutes, 1-10 shooting…yikes. Robin Lopez is the only other player to score double-digits with 10 and the Bulls shot 40% overall with 21% three-point shooting.
The game was frankly over when it started, and the series was honestly over when the Celtics took game 5. After Rondo went down, the Bulls went 0-4, including 0-3 at home. Poor shooting, lazy defense, odd coaching choices in the 4th quarter and just looking like the 8th seed Bulls we saw often this year. While myself and many others tried to enjoy the Bulls winning their first two games this was foreseen especially after Rondo went down.
So here we are…a mediocre 41-41 team with old players, some young role players and a star in Jimmy Butler, a coach who is over his head in the NBA and no real team direction. But Reinsdorf get his money with the three playoff games and the GarPax regime accomplished their goal to be a “competitive” playoff team. Is this team close to a title? Not even close.
GarPax wanted to get “younger and more athletic” and then signed Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade. Wade and Rondo both have another year left on their 2-year deals; Wade is owed $23,800,000 next year and Rondo is owed $13,397,000 next year. They got to the playoffs, put butts in the seats and made the team money while maintaining a status of not being close to a title and a mess of a direction in the future.
Do I want Wade back next year? No. do I want GarPax around next year? No. Do I want Hoiberg around next year? No. Do I want trades that turn into younger assets? Yes. Will any of that happen? I have my doubts. This is what makes this so frustrating. They accomplished their half-ass goal and that merits the scheme sticking around.
Until next year Bulls fan, the future is dark and uncertain.