The Runner Sports

The Chicago Bulls’ Resolve

The Chicago Bulls are now in the midst of a four-game winning streak with their season on the line, and they are currently sitting in the 7th spot by themselves.  They have the possibility of becoming a potential 6th seed depending on how the Atlanta Hawks perform the rest of the season.  The Bulls are hands-down playing their best basketball of the season now and if you really look at the pattern that this team has followed, what they’re doing now really hasn’t been that much different from what they’ve been doing all year.  It’s just now they’re doing it on a grander scale.
When you look at this year’s Chicago Bulls team, there was one thing that always caught my attention when watching them. This particular quality was something last year’s team severely lacked, and it was heart and pride.  As opposed to last year, when this year’s team would be losing the game or they would blow a lead that they had at one point, they often showed a particular type of pride or willpower as a team.  Towards the end of games, they would either still lose but make the game closer than you would expect by the end, or they would come back and actually take the victory in surprising fashion.  That is the main correlation between this particular Bulls team and the Herculean effort of their current playoff push.  When things get close or almost out of hand, the Bulls seem to turn on a switch that you wouldn’t expect them to have due to the lack of talent and experience on the team.  Fortunate for them, however, Jimmy Butler has forced this team to be a lot better and his outstanding play and leadership has them currently in the playoffs.  He has been the primary closer for this team, and has singlehandedly won games by himself.

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Another component in the Bulls’ current hot streak has been Fred Hoiberg and Rajon Rondo.  It seems now that they have a great trust within one another and it shows, because Hoiberg is now letting Rondo be the true quarterback on the floor, and Rondo respects Hoiberg more for that decision.  You can tell he appreciated the move by Fred, because Rondo has arguably been the best player since he’s been inserted back into the starting lineup.  Not to mention that Rajon Rondo has also become one of the best three-point shooters on the team.  The Bulls have made 10 or more threes in at least seven straight games and that is a franchise record.  For this to be the case after the Bulls have been the worst three-point shooting team all year is quite impressive.
For this aspect of their improvement, you have to give credit to Fred Hoiberg and his improvements as head coach.  It was unfortunate that Dwyane Wade ended up getting hurt, but if there was any good that came from Wade’s misfortune, it was Hoiberg figuring out how to properly play lineups he desired in order to play his style of offense.  Hoiberg is now placing more shooters on the court and setting up the offense better than he has in his two years as head coach.  Inserting Nikola Mirotic back into the starting lineup has given him a strong confidence that had been shaky all season due to the numerous roster changes all year.  Bobby Portis has been assigned back to the bench, but he has been giving the team quality minutes when he’s on the court, and you can tell he is playing with confidence as well.  Hoiberg seems to have finally figured out the best way to play his players and manage his team.  His breakthrough didn’t come a minute too soon either as the Bulls, just a week or two ago, looked completely done as a team.  So to go from the lottery to a potential 6th seed is quite the feat, especially doing it with just a little more than a week worth of games left in the season.
So Fred Hoiberg and the Chicago Bulls have done an admirable job responding to the adversity they’ve been faced with all season.  The problem with last year’s team is that they didn’t know how to bounce back when plans didn’t go their way. That was the reason why they went from being a playoff team all throughout the season to being in the lottery by season’s end.  This year, even though this team has less talent, they actually had more adversity to face than last year’s team. Instead of blowing their playoff chances at the end, however, this current team is shocking the city of Chicago and teams around the league with their improved play and the possibility of sneaking into the playoffs.
The Bulls are one of the hottest teams going into the final games of the season.  This team has come back and fought through so much all year long.  With Jimmy Butler leading, Hoiberg rapidly improving his decision making as coach, and Dwyane Wade possibly coming back for the playoffs, Chicago might end up turning what was once another disappointing season, into something totally unexpected and encouraging going forward.

Derrick Hicks

Hello, my name is Derrick Hicks from Chicago, and I just speak/write my mind on these crazy Bulls adventures.Please Enjoy!

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