The Chicago Bulls slipped down another notch following their devastating loss to the New York Knicks. The 94-106 defeat of the Pau Gasol squad comes as a surprise especially since the Kristaps Porzingis team has been at the bottom of the ranks this NBA season. What is more surprising, however, is that it happened with both Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose taking on Carmelo Anthony and his group. With both Chicago Bulls leaders on the floor, fans were shocked to see who was underperforming.
Throughout the NBA season, the Chicago Bulls saw Rose disappoint fans as he failed to keep his health in tip top shape - an error that caused him to miss out on a lot of games. In his absence, the basketball team has become increasingly dependent on the leadership and skills of Butler. Amid the pressure to make the NBA playoffs, the Chicago Bulls found themselves growing in despair as the shooting guard continues to slide in his performance.
"I know this is a team game, but if one of your so-called best players is not doing what he's supposed to do, that's what's going to happen," shared Butler of his recent slump and poor gameplay. He continued to state, "You see the way I've been playing lately. It's saddening. It's piss-poor. It's terrible. My teammates won't say it, my coaches won't say it, but I'm a realist. If I continue to play like this I'm hurting this team."
Following the embarrassing performance against the New York Knicks, the entire Chicago Bulls roster came to realization that they are watching their NBA season slip away. For his part, Taj Gibson shared he was embarassed with their performance against Porzingis and his crew. He added that the way they played was "frustrating," saying that they are losing to "trash teams."
"I take pride in wearing this jersey," said Gibson. He added, "I love wearing the Bulls jersey. Especially what we've been through, I take pride in playing for Chicago. When I wear that jersey, I try to go out there and play my heart out. And it's frustrating when we come up short, and we look at ourselves, we're losing to ... I don't want to criticize any[body], [but] trash teams. Everybody's in the NBA for a reason, but we're playing against teams that are not playing for anything, and we're just laying down.
Gibson went on to point out that their recent poor showings made them a "target" among teams. That is, the NBA squads are no longer taking them seriously. He noted that other teams are now "eager" to play them due to their lackluster performance.
"Teams are more eager to play us. [In years prior,] it was vice versa," he shared. Gibson added, "They knew we were coming in to punch people in the face and keep playing. It's just, it's hard, man. It really eats me up inside. It's really hard to sleep at night knowing it's coming down to the wire, and our effort isn't there. It's really frustrating."
Meanwhile, Rose has been picking up the slack from his teammates recently. As of late, the injury laden Chicago Bulls star has been impressing fans and his teammates. In fact, Rose even managed to impress his greatest critic in the NBA - himself.
"I don't know if everyone knows, but I feel like I'm a damn good player," commented Rose of his performance recently. He added, "For someone who went through what I went through and come back and change their or modify their game to where I'm still productive on the court without using my speed all the time, it tells a lot if you know basketball."
What do you think? Is it time to bench Butler and let Rose call all the shots? Is Fred Hoiberg finally showing he is incapable of handling the Chicago Bulls?