After last night’s disappointing 102-93 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls now have a record of 21-23. They currently hold the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, but have failed to distinguish themselves in any meaningful way from the pack of teams competing for that spot.
Things aren’t getting much better either with Chicago being 5-5 in their last ten games. With a budding superstar like Jimmy Butler and a future hall-of-famer in Dwyane Wade, the fans and the Bulls organization simply expected the Bulls to be better than this.
The Bulls’ stars apparently feel the same way, and made it no secret after last night’s frustrating loss. Butler, who was announced as a starter in the All-Star game yesterday, called the Bulls play “terrible,” via ESPN.com:
We got to come out better, man,” Butler said. “We got to start playing better from the jump. 48 minutes, man. It’s terrible basketball. That’s not the way we’re supposed to play. It’s so disappointing because the way we practice isn’t the way that we play in the game. Don’t ask me why, I don’t know. Starting from me going all the way down the line, we’ve got to be better as a whole, as a team. Otherwise, we’re just going to keep getting our asses beat. It’s bad.”
The Bulls got outscored 35-13 in the first quarter, a brutal beatdown they simply couldn’t come back from. They were also outscored in the first half of Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, which they lost 99-98.
Wade issued his statement via Twitter:
That performance was AWFUL!!! I apologize to all the Chicago fans and Wade fans.
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) January 21, 2017
This is new behavior from Wade, who is in his first year with the Bulls. But for Butler, it isn’t much different than the frustration he expressed last year with the way coach Fred Hoiberg was running the team.
Tempers are beginning to run high in Chicago. It is clear this team isn’t a contender and that it is time to pivot towards the future. Perhaps these comments form Wade and Butler can speed that process up and encourage some change.