Make no mistake, the Chicago Bulls are still the number one team in the East with a wonderful record of 27-15.
They are playing better than they have in years and have a real shot at making it all the way to the NBA Finals.
However, they’ve definitely been hitting some speed bumps lately.
Just a few weeks ago, the Bulls went on an astounding nine-game winning streak.
And now they just lost their fourth-straight game.
Their 119-106 loss against the Memphis Grizzlies showed some of the weak points that are troubling the team and preventing them from once again being the dominant force they were just days ago.
3. No Caruso, No LaVine, No Ball
DeMar DeRozan is the most important player on the Bulls team and has a good chance at landing the MVP trophy this year.
DeRozan is playing some of the best basketball of his career and is really taking things to a whole other level.
But he’s not the only important player in the Bulls lineup.
But Caruso, LaVine, and Ball are the three most painful losses, especially because they all bring something different to the floor.
Caruso is a master stealer and defensive star, LaVine is a big man who can dunk, block, and shoot and Ball has become one of the better shooters on the team and is perfecting his three-point stroke.
The fact it has been 23 days since I've seen Alex Caruso pick someone's pocket is heartbreaking.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 11, 2022
Missing one of these guys would be bad but losing all three of them at once is truly painful.
2. Turnovers Galore
The Bulls have been quite good about holding onto the ball throughout most of the season.
However, lately, they have been creating a fair number of turnovers.
In their loss to Memphis, the Bulls turned the ball over 18 times.
A few nights ago, they gave it up 17 times to the Brooklyn Nets.
@chicagobulls getting blitzed by the visiting @warriors @UnitedCenter 78-47. Fans showing displeasure with subtle boos. Andrew Wiggins leading all scorers with 20 at the half. 11 first half turnovers hurting Chicago. pic.twitter.com/77Xe4fQrn5
— Jerry Riles (@1realjerryriles) January 15, 2022
In fact, seeing them create double-digit turnovers isn’t that surprising anymore.
That’s a huge change from earlier in the season and a sign that the squad is moving too quickly and too carelessly.
Turnovers are sloppy, there’s no other way to describe it.
And sloppiness is one of the fastest ways to lose a game.
On January 12, the Bulls lost to the Nets, 138-112.
It was a brutal loss that saw their competition rack up an impressive point total.
However, just two days later on January 14, they went down to the Golden State Warriors, 138-96.
That’s right, they allowed their opponents to score 138 points twice in a row.
Not only is that a huge coincidence, but it’s also a sign that the team is not playing strong defense.
Right now, the team is letting teams score about 109 points a game, 17th in the NBA.
They will need to really secure the ball a lot more and step up their defensive game if they wish to get back on track.
Scoring points is important in the NBA but stopping them is just as vital.
The Bulls need to enhance how they defend the rim and get stops or else the rest of the season will look like these last four games.