The Chicago Bulls were an interesting position on Monday night. They were playing the Boston Celtics at the United Center without their best player in Kyrie Irving. This was a perfect spot for the Bulls to win a game at home when they need to keep losing. However, the basketball gods were looking down because the Bulls got beat and beat bad by the Celtics.
The score doesn’t tell the full story–the Bulls were down from the start and the game was never in question. At the end of the day, the tank is rolling on after a 105-89 loss to one of, if not the best team in the Eastern Conference. Here are five takeaways from the Bulls loss on Monday.
1. Another Slow Start
Saying the Bulls started slow against the Celtics would be an understatement. They were down 24-5 at one point in the first quarter. Starting slow has been a theme for the young Bulls for the last two weeks. It’s common for young teams to struggle and be inconsistent at times, but there is no reason to be down 24-5 at the start of a game. Expect coach Fred Hoiberg to continue to express the need for some urgency at the beginning of games.
2. The Tank is Back
Oh, you don’t think the Chicago Bulls are tanking? Then why are they putting David Nwaba, Noah Vonleh, Cameron Payne, Cristiano Felicio, and Denzel Valentine on the court at the same time? That’s called a tank ladies and gentlemen, and don’t expect things to get any better moving forward. This is what the Bulls signed up for when they came out and said they were going to do a rebuild. Sure, the basketball is awful at times and I feel bad for Hoiberg, but this is exactly what needs to happen. I can smell a top five pick!
3. Denzel Valentine Impresses Again
Say what you want about Valentine, but he has been solid over the last five games. In 29 minutes against the Celtics, he scored 20 points. Look, we know the kid can score. The problem is that’s all he can really do. This offseason he needs to make a conscious effort to improve in other areas. Like on defense for example. Valentine was a minus two on the night, which isn’t surprising considering his track record as a defender.
4. Bigs Dominate
Want to know how to beat the Bulls? Come on, it really isn’t hard just go big and attack them down low. It’s that simple. The Celtics used a combination of Aron Baynes and Al Horford down low to punish the Bulls early on. It’s a formula that many good teams have used this season when playing Chicago. There’s not much the Bulls can do until they get some better talent at the center position. This should be addressed in the draft, but we never know what’s going on with those jokers in the front office. Yes, I’m talking about you Gar and Pax.
5. Ugly Will Continue
If you things are going to get better from here you would be wrong. We are going to continue to see makeshift lineups on the floor and less talented players getting the majority of the playing time. It’s time to see what some of these guys have and don’t have. There is talent on this roster, but don’t expect many exciting games as this miserable season winds down.