By: Robert Weihofen
This past week we saw an upturn for the embattled Bulls. The return of Nikola Mirotic seemingly sparked the team winning three games. After extending their losing streak with a loss to the Cavaliers and s heartbreaker to the Pacers, the team turned a corner this past week.
There is not much more that can be said about the Bulls losing streak that extended up until a few nights ago. Markkanen has continued to play well while the rest of the young players are struggling to keep anything going for more then a few games. One upside that has come over the past few games is the emergence of Kris Dunn, who credits Fred Hoiberg for his better shooting so far this season. If Dunn can keep up this play it would be a huge help moving forward.
A few of the bigger disappointments so far this season has been the regression of Paul Zipser and Jerian Grant. Neither have put up great numbers this season, and they were expected to be key players in this young rebuilding team. As the season goes on, it might be best for Hoiberg to move away from from these two and see more of Denzel Valentine and David Nwaba to change things up on the second unit moving forward. With the return of Mirotic, Hoiberg now has a few more options in the lineup.
One of the biggest surprises of the past week came last night when the Bulls dominated the Kyrie-less Celtics 108-85 at home. Mirotic and Portis lead the way with 47 points collectively.
Rookie Lauri Markkanen did not play due to injury, but it seemed like the team did not even miss him. Kris Dunn added 12 PTS and David Nwaba had 13 PTS. The good coming out of this little winning streak, aside from a much needed confidence boost, is Mirotic is playing well as the front office are shopping him on the trade market. He cannot be traded until January 15.
This past week has been one of the best for the Bulls just under a third of the way through the season. A few wins for the young players is just what they needed heading into a tough stretch of the schedule. Maybe a few more wins to close out the year strong is just what this team needs to turn a corner.