This position that the Chicago Bulls are in now is one that has been a trend for the team. That trend is that they don’t mind losing against a weaker team and only seem to care about winning when they play against top-tier teams such as their Eastern Conference rival; the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Bulls have suffered from a three-game losing streak that included a quadruple overtime loss against the Detroit Pistons, a tough loss against the New York Knicks, and another one on Monday against the Brooklyn Nets. In each of those games, members of the team seemed to give a solid effort. For instance, in the quadruple overtime loss to the Pistons, Jimmy Butler had a career-high of 43 points, and Derrick Rose scored a season best of 34 points. Additionally, Pau Gasol had 30 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks. With all of that, the Bulls still could not gain victory. Against the Nets, Butler had 24 points, Gasol had 20 points, and Taj Gibson had 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 9 assists. However, it was what was said after one of those games that sparked attention.
After a devastating loss to the Knicks on Saturday, Butler said that Bulls “needed to be coached a lot harder” criticizing their coach Fred Hoiberg and assuming a leadership position. The real problem is that everyone on that team wants to be a leader instead of actually following someone. Everyone wants to go in their own direction. Derrick Rose, who already has issues with not being a leader on the team, pledged on media day that he will seek free agency in 2017. Also, Pau Gasol might be seeking a new team in the summer. Additionally, all of this locker room drama is circulating trade rumors, which is never a good look for a team. It seems like the only person who has the leadership capability and who is really committed to the team is Butler. However, pinning the problem only on the coach is not a good move. Maybe Fred Hoiberg has to do a better job of managing their offense, but that is not the team’s only problem. The Bulls have to work together and be able to heed to guidance. They cannot do that unless everyone listens and follows directions without trying to be the leader of the team.
To get a win on Christmas, the Bulls have to be willing to work together as a team, especially because Joakim Noah is out for two weeks due to a shoulder injury suffered in Monday night’s game.
Spark Sports NBA Analyst