This post is not going to tell you anything, really, that you don’t already know. It’s been 9 games since Derrick Rose hurt his meniscus (10 games if you include the game against the Blazers in which Rose was injured). In those 9 games, the Bulls have been really, really bad.
How bad have the Bulls been? In the last 9 games, the Bulls have a Net Rating of -6.9 per 100 possessions. That’s quite awful. Over the course of an 82 game season, that sort of Net Rating would generally yield a roughly 25 win team. That’s bottom 3 or 4 teams in the league type stuff. The Bulls have had a couple of 20 point blowout wins over the Pistons and the Heat, which actually props their Net Rating up some. Granted, those wins and points scored still count, but this is all to say that in the 7 losses in their last 9 games since Rose was hurt, the Bulls have been absolutely brutal. They’ve lost by an average of 11.1 points per game. Now, granted, the Bulls had one truly awful blowout against the Clippers where they lost by 39 points immediately following the news of Derrick Rose’s season being over. Still, if you remove that game, the Bulls have lost the other six games by 6.5 points, on average, which is again bottom-feeder territory.
This is not to say that it’s all because Rose is hurt. The Bulls have, obviously, and as usual, suffered a bunch of very important injuries. Jimmy Butler’s been out for quite a while, Luol Deng has missed some time, and Joakim Noah has missed a few games and is clearly still not right when he does play. But losing Derrick Rose, even the diminished version of him that the Bulls had prior to his injury, has been a massive problem. The Bulls have had undoubtedly the crummiest point guard play in the league all year, but it’s been even worse in the wake of Rose’s injury. Marquis Teague has been statistically one of the worst players in the entire league who has received regular minutes and Kirk Hinrich just doesn’t have much to offer at this point in his career. Teague has looked a little better in the last couple games, and it’d be nice if he would get a shot at more minutes to develop a greater comfort level and, you know, improve. With Tom Thibodeau at the helm, though, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. That’s likely why the Bulls went out and signed the recently waived, totally terrible D.J. Augustin. He’s been brutal for a couple of years now, and he was even worse to start this year, but the Bulls still thought he represented an improvement, however slight, on what they are currently rolling with. Ugh.
The Bulls will get better, when – if ?- Jimmy, Luol, and Joakim all get healthier, but for the time being, the Bulls are playing like one of the absolute worst teams in the NBA and it’s getting really, really hard to watch.
Statistical support from NBA.com/stats