It’s only three games, but the Chicago Bulls season is already over. Am I being pessimistic or overly dramatic? No, just realistic as this year is already derailed due to injuries and drama. Their best young player, Lauri Markkanen, suffered a high grade lateral sprain to his right elbow and is going to miss anywhere between six and eight weeks. Their starting PG, Kris Dunn, sprained his MCL and is now expected to miss four to six weeks (~14-22 games). Swingman Denzel Valentine has a deep bone bruise in his left ankle that isn’t getting better anytime soon and has him out until further notice.
Zach did say everything was good between them yesterday, but the question remains: Is Hoiberg — handpicked by Gar Forman — on the hot seat? While he has been dealt some tough cards, his rotations, growth as a coach, and player development as a whole has been lacking. Maybe it is not all his fault, but we are now four years into a five-year, $25 million contract, and we still don’t know. That alone should tell you something. To add fuel to the fire, Bovada put out these odds yesterday on the first NBA coach to be fired. Hoiberg comes in at three:
Who will be the first coach to leave their post in the 2018-2019 NBA Season?
Luke Walton 7/4
Tom Thibodeau 2/1
Fred Hoiberg 5/1
Billy Donovan 15/2
Scott Brooks 10/1
Dave Joerger 12/1
Tyronn Lue 12/1
Terry Stotts 12/1
But, let’s face it, even if everyone was healthy and there was no drama, in the famous words of Joe Lacob, the Bulls truly are “light years away” from the Golden State Warriors. While they have a couple of nice pieces, they still need more stars. And, with Cam Payne and Ryan Arcidiacono as the PG options going forward, tank season has begun. Like it or not, after these injuries, they just don’t have the talent to keep them out of the lottery. With no superstar free agents ever signing here (still waiting for that flexibility to pay off), the NBA Draft will be the Bulls best and only option to pick up that potential difference maker.
Anyways, it’s going to be a long season, so here is how you can pass your time. Start watching Duke basketball. Being a North Carolina fan myself (Michael Jordan inspired), that pains me to say, but the Bulls are my life, so I will bite the bullet.
So, why Duke? If you haven’t heard yet, Coach K signed a star-studded 2018 class headlined by R.J. Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Zion Williamson. All three are elite talents and should be among the top-five picks come draft time.
If you haven’t seen them play yet, here is a little write-up and video on each of the three…