By Robert Weihofen
The Bulls have changed the tune of their season this past week. Instead of getting blow out game in and game out, they decided to keep it close with soul crushing losses all week long for the fans. Good news did come out of the week though, as it seems the Portis and Mirotic saga is drawing to a close as Mirotic nears a return to the court. One that could be this very week.
On the court, the Bulls played three games last week, lost a three, and could have easily won all three. It started off with the Suns, the only younger team in the NBA right now other than the Bulls. Both teams traded baskets most of the night, with the Suns leaning on Devin Booker and TJ Warren. The Bulls countered with Justin Holiday and Kris Dunn, but in the end the Bulls youth showed more than the Suns in the close game and left them on the wrong end of a close game.
The Bulls then went into back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday where they lost the pair of games by two points total. On Thursday they lost to the Denver as they Nuggets got the go-ahead shot with under five seconds left in the game, and the Kings pulled away on Friday pulling ahead by a few baskets with just over twenty-five seconds left. These are the growing pains and loses the team was expected to go through with the youth, but it stings more seeing it in person.
It is hard to take away positives game after game where you see a loss, but there are slight glimmers of hope for the team. Markkanen, although inconsistent at times, has showed to be the Top Ten Player the Front Office wanted him to be so far this season. Keeping his development on the right track is going to be a key takeaway at the end of the year for this team. The other player to watch is Kris Dunn after an awful rookie season he looks to rebound as the year goes on. If he can turn into a player who can run this offense for the Bulls, they will be in okay shape when their best player on paper, Zach LaVine finally returns.
We knew it wasn’t going to be pretty, and it isn’t, but a rebuild isn’t going to happen overnight. For the now, a few wins in the stat column would be a moral victory for a young team and one that would start a right path from this point on.