The Chicago Bulls lost to the Washington Wizards 101 to 99 in overtime last Tuesday night, which put the Bulls in the precarious spot of going down 2-0 in the best of seven series.
The result wasn’t surprising, though.
It was how they lost that was surprising: blowing a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, only scoring 24 points in the last 17 minutes and giving up 100 points for the second straight game for a team that’s historically known for its stingy defense.
In a season mired by a devastating injury to superstar Derrick Rose and the sudden trade of Tom Thibodeau favorite Luol Deng, the Bulls seemed destined to miss the playoffs with whispers on “tanking” echoing in the basketball ether in Chicago.
However, they fought all odds, winning 48 games, en route to a fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
They were the team that had heart and soul — “Chicago tough.”
They were the favorites against an upstart Washington Wizards team, with point guard dynamo John Wall and young sharpshooter Bradley Beal.
The Bulls even had the coaching advantage in former Coach of the Year Thibodeau, who’s tried and tested in the postseason compared to the relatively inexperienced Washington Wizards Head Coach Randy Wittman.
Many NBA experts picked the Bulls to win the series in six, yet the Bulls now find themselves down 2-0 going to Washington, D.C. After all, the Bulls were the number one ranked team in the NBA, giving up only an astounding 91.8 points per game.
So, how did the Bulls suddenly find themselves an underdog to a team they were supposed to beat?
Well, by not scoring, they’re now on the verge of getting knocked out of the first round of the NBA playoffs.
It’s no surprise that this team had problems scoring even when Rose was healthy. When he was out last year, the team rallied and beat the Brooklyn Nets, despite having a putrid offense saved by monster performances from Joakim Noah and Nate Robinson.
But this year, the Bulls had the worst scoring offense in the league, registering a dismal 93.7 points per game.
And it’s carried over to the playoffs, where the game shortens to the half court and talent reigns supreme. The Wizards have multiple playmakers and scorers in Wall and Beal. The Bulls have, essentially, D.J. Augustin, who was cut from the Toronto Raptors, leading their offense.
Oh, and did I mention that Kirk Hinrich plays meaningful minutes for the Bulls? That says it all, right there.
This is why the Bulls need to go all out and push to get Carmelo Anthony in the summer.
He’s a free agent and is reportedly interested in playing for the Bulls. It was recently reported by Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that Anthony approached a former Bulls player and asked, “What is it like to play for Thibs?”
There’s definitely something to the constant rumors that Anthony might be interested in heading to the Windy City this summer. Anthony would vault the Bulls into contenders immediately, and he is easily capable of scoring 30 points per game, as he averaged 27.4 points per game this year, finally giving the team a go-to scorer at the end of games.
Who on the Bulls can score 30? No one, currently, and the only who can is injured.
Pairing Anthony with Rose and Noah would be a lethal trio — one that’s capable of scoring points at a crazy rate and one that could also win a championship. All this try-hard, defensive-first mentality needs to go if the Bulls want a shot at the title. Here’s hoping that they realize this soon and acquire Anthony in the summer.