The luck of the Chicago Bulls over the last few seasons has been anything but good. Once considered a favorite to challenge the Miami Heat and win an NBA Championship, the Bulls have seen their All-Star player, Derrick Rose, fall to injuries the last few seasons. They were still able to make the postseason last year, but without a star to lead the way, Chicago was a sitting duck.
Well, the Bulls are in the exact same position again. There is no Rose and there is no sign of a savior. Entering Saturday night, Chicago was one game over .500 at 23-22. They went down to Louisiana to play the New Orleans Pelicans in hopes of moving up the Eastern Conference ranks. Instead, they rolled over and lost in a dull game, 88-79.
Despite a big game from D.J. Augustin, who had 23 points and seven assists, the Bulls were not able to overcome the turnovers and poor shooting. Joakim Noah added 14 points and a game high 16 rebounds, but it meant nothing.
The biggest problem of Chicago going forward is a consistent star. There is no Rose to lead the way and guide the rest of the roster. There is no Rose to run the offense and distribute the ball. There is no reason to take over in a time of need and save the day. Basically what I am trying to say is, there is no one on the current roster who can do any of this for the Bulls! Sure, sometimes they get big games from Noah, Carlos Boozer or Taj Gibson, but not a single player is consistent.
The inconsistency will really hurt the Bulls down the stretch as the playoff race becomes tighter, and each game grows with importance. I would like to say that Boozer will step up and be the leader that Chicago needs, but he has proven he is a secondary star — that he shines in the spotlight of others. Boozer will consistently give you 20 and 10 alongside Rose, but without a guard to continually set him up, Boozer is a mere role player.
It is games like this that the Bulls will look back at and shake their heads. It is games like this that are winnable and can make a huge difference down the stretch, kind of like the consistent star does for a team. If there isn’t a star and Chicago can’t win games like this one against New Orleans, then this season is all but over. Better luck next year.