The Chicago Bulls are one of the NBA’s hottest teams since Jan. 1. Joakim Noah is a front runner for Defensive Player of the Year, and will get some consideration for MVP as well. And expect head coach Tom Thibideau to get some votes for Coach of the Year.
But despite all of the accolades the Bulls might receive at the end of the season, they haven’t been playing well as of late. They struggled to put away the hapless Philadelphia 76ers, who have lost 22 straight games. The Bulls managed to escape Philadelphia with a 102-94, but Chicago should’ve won that game with ease. Then, they faced the Indiana Pacers on the road — go down 19 points in the third quarter — and succumb to the Pacers 91-79.
The Bulls are having lapses on both offense and defense during both of those games, which ultimately allowed the 76ers to keep the game close, and allowed the Pacers to blow open the game in the third quarter.
Kirk Hinrich is struggling once again after playing well during the month of March. And besides D.J. Augustin and Taj Gibson, the Bulls aren’t getting much help from their bench. Obviously, the Bulls could get some offense from seldom used Jimmer Fredette, but Thibideau has been reluctant to give the guard any meaningful minutes.
Tony Snell is an adequate defender and outside shooter off the bench, but hasn’t shown any consistency so far this season. Nazr Mohammed is also a solid defender, but isn’t much of a scorer. If the Bulls continue to struggle, they could possibly fall out of the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, with the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards closing in behind them.