We’re not even halfway through the NBA season so it would be foolish to hit the panic button when it comes to the problems the Chicago Bulls are facing right?
It’s time to hit the panic button, the alarm button, and any other button that might awaken this team, coaching staff, and front office. The Bulls have been struggling and while all teams go through struggles throughout the long season these struggles have been different. Chicago has become stagnant on offense and a liability on defense, but the biggest problem has been the Bulls’ lack of bench production.
Chicago blew a 27-point lead at home against the Milwaukee Bucks Monday night. No Bulls’ starter played less than 36 minutes. The reserves only played a total of 10:23 in the second half. Overall the Buck’s bench outscored the Bull’s bench 56-10.
This has been a common theme over the last five games for Chicago. The opposing team’s bench has been able to come into the game and do much of what the Bull’s bench use to be able to do. Increase the defensive intensity and change the momentum of the game. Now without a bench the starters have to play well every night in order for Chicago to have a chance at winning games. The Bulls can no longer rely on that second unit to provide a boost.
Due to the lack of productivity from the reserves the starters are having to play more minutes, which will be a problem as the season goes on. When asked if trust was a reason for the reserves not seeing a lot of playing time head coach Tom Thibodeau said, “No.”
Either way, whether it’s trust issues or non trust issues the Bulls lack a bench. Which is problematic seeing as though the other power houses in the East have reserves that would be starters on any other team. Think about this… the Monday night comeback win by the Bucks was done with their bench players on the floor. Not their starters, but their second unit. It’s important to have reserves that can come in and play well and Milwaukee proved that. Giving that starting lineup a jolt of energy. Unfortunately Chicago no longer has that luxury.