The Chicago Bulls are on an unprecedented five-game winning streak right now. They’re playing the absolute best basketball we’ve seen them play all season and I’m convinced that they’ll keep it rolling. I’m not saying that they’ll keep winning every game, or even that they’ll make the playoffs, but I don’t believe that they are the worst team in the NBA or even a bottom five team.
The Bulls started the season incredibly shorthanded. Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic got into a fist-fight in practice before the season even started, resulting in a Portis suspension and a Mirotic broken face. With one punch, Bobby Portis knocked the starting power forward and sixth-man out of the Bulls’ lineup for the first month of the season.
On top of that, Kris Dunn missed the first five games of the season after dislocating his finger during a preseason game. Since Dunn has returned from injury he has been terrific and earned the starting point guard spot. Dunn is a key member of this Bulls team and huge reason why this winning streak is still going.
Another key part of the winning streak is the play of David Nwaba, another guy that missed time towards the beginning of the season after spraining his ankle. Nwaba’s stingy defense and constant attacks on the rim have been fueling the Bulls’ gritty approach to the last five games.
Expectations for the Bulls this season were about as low as they could possibly be. This is supposed to be a tanking year for a high draft pick, and the Bulls were only supposed to win twenty games at the most. For the first ten games of the season it really seemed like the players were buying into their expectations. Nobody was hustling for loose balls or trying on defense, and the Bulls were getting smoked by everyone. But someone in that locker must have had enough and told these guys to play ball, because they look like a completely different team now. They’re diving for every loose ball, running their butts off on defense, and playing hard at all times. It’s fun to watch.
While all of these players have played integral roles in the Bulls’ success, they’re still missing their best player. Zach LaVine has yet to suit up for the Bulls and could take this squad to the next level. LaVine offers some high-octane offensive production that could take the Bulls to the next level. In a weak Eastern Conference it’s not too farfetched to believe that the Bulls could be shooting for the last playoff spot.
With all of these players missing games and an extreme amount of roster turnover, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Chicago Bulls had such a slow start, but it looks like they’re finally ready to turn it around.
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