The Bulls December was as brutal and inconsistent as the Chicago winter weather. Our men in red started the month rolling by defeating the defending Champion Miami Heat, remedy but then went on to lose three in a row to the Pistons, Bucks, and Knicks. Wins were scarce for the remainder of the month for the struggling Bulls who went 5-10 during the holiday season.
With DRose down and out for the season while rehabilitating his repaired meniscus, the Bulls find themselves in an all too familiar situation; missing a piece of their Roseless puzzle. They have enough talent to win big games on occasion, but they don’t have the manpower to blow past the Miami Heat or the Indiana Pacers who are dominating the Eastern Conference. Lucky for our guys, the East is the weakest conference and Chicago is still surprisingly in it.
You may feel like all hope is lost when it comes to Bulls basketball, but the season is still very young and the team has plenty of time to ship and shape up.
The Good: Let’s try to look on the bright side; the Roseless Bulls have been underperforming so ticket prices have plummeted and now we can actually afford to experience a game at the Madhouse – find the best deals on Bulls tickets HERE. There is nothing like the Bulls starting lineup introduction live, “Annd nowww…”
There was an adorable proposal on the UC floor when Luvabull Ariana was surprised by her boyfriend and teammates during halftime of the December 5th game while the Heat were in town. It also may have been one of the most memorable moments throughout the entire month.
The Bad: Injuries (aside from Derrick’s devastating knee) proposed a problem for the Bulls during December. Key players like Jimmy Butler, Kirk Hinrich, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng have all seen time on the bench due to injury. Deng missed almost the entire month with his sore achilles.
Are the Bulls planning on rebuilding? You better believe it. December was a month of trade rumors regarding small forward Luol Deng. Late Monday night these rumors were finally put to rest when the Bulls actually traded Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum and two drafts picks.
Deng was a two-time All-Star with the Bulls and has been the glue that has kept the Bulls together these past few frustrating years, but he was going to be a free agent come this summer and too expensive for our Bulls. GM Gar Forman said this move will save the Bulls quite a deal of money in salary cap space and luxury taxes, which puts them in a better spot for the future. Coach Thibs LOVES Deng, this trade could have a spiral effect on our Bulls, we’ll have to wait and see.
Overall: The Bulls went 5-10 in December and are still struggling to hit .500 which lands them the failing grade. They received a bit of extra credit for the D.J. Augustin pickup avoiding the scary F.
Spotlight on: D.J. Augustin
Point Guard #14
Who’s the new guy you ask?
On December 13th the Bulls picked up point guard D.J. Augustin in a trade with the Toronto Raptors. Kirk Hinrich had been picking up the point guard slack playing with heart, hustle and muscle, but he’s not a spring chicken and has had plenty of wear and tear on his body. The Bulls were running too thin at PG and Marquis Teague just wasn’t cutting it.
In rolls Augustin. He seemed to fit into Coach Thibodeau’s play calling almost instantly and has only improved with increased playing time. He’s in his sixth year in the league and has never been an outstanding player, but Coach Thibs has a reputation of bringing out the best in players (cough, cough Nate Robinson).
What to Watch in January:
Saturday January 18th, Philadelphia 76ers at Bulls: The Sixers’ scrappy offense always challenges Coach Thibs and the Bulls.
Monday January 20th, Los Angeles Lakers at Bulls: The Lake-Show heads to the Windy City to take on the Bulls. All of the “Kobe” fans here in Chicago will flood the UC with their purple and gold gear.
Friday January 24th, Los Angeles Clippers at Bulls: High-flying Blake Griffin and his Clippers crew head to Chicago. It’s always a dunkfest with these bros in town.
Wednesday January 29th, Bulls at San Antonio Spurs: Two of the league’s most elite coaches will throwdown as Gregg Popovich will attempt to cook up a better game plan than Coach Thibs.
Just remember, Divas, the season is far from over and the East is up for grabs. If the Bulls can get hot at the right time, they’ll be vying for a top spot in the playoff slots. New year, new Bulls!