Luol Deng's out again, Kirk Hinrich isn't any closer, and Jimmy Butler left the arena on crutches before being interviewed. Somehow that just feels like the status quo for the Bulls this season. However, perhaps most bizarre is the post game incident between Joakim Noah and Kendrick Perkins.
Clipped from Mike McGraw's article today.
Anthony Slater from The Oklahoman sent this account:
Perkins: "They just let anybody in the locker room?"
Noah: "Come on, man."
Perkins: "I'm just asking."
Noah: "Come on, man."
Perkins: "Just let anyone in the locker room now?"
Noah: "You want me to wait outside?"
Perkins: "I'm just saying, though."
Noah: "If you want me to wait outside, I'll wait outside."
Perkins: "Get your ass up outta here."
Noah: "All right."
I must admit, when I first read that Noah had a confrontation in the hallway with Perkins I thought that perhaps the season was getting to him. Nope, Kendrick Perkisn is just a dick. Noah, who was invited into the locker room by Thabo Sefolosha didn't do anything out of line at all.
There's a part of me that appreciates this type of assholishness from Perkins. I kind of like it when teams don't like each other rather than having all the players be buddy buddy.
That said, the Bulls and Thunder sure as hell aren't rivals this year, haven't ever really been rivals, and unless there's a miraculous turnaround by Chicago next season (possible, but not necessarily likely) won't be rivals any time soon either.
Thabo probably should have checked with teammates before asking Noah. Maybe they should have just met at a bar or whatever else. That said, this was the post game of a regular season blowout by a championship contender and a bottom feeder. It's not like Noah was going to learn state secrets here.
Perkins could have addressed the situation without being an asshole just as easily, but that's not the Perkins way apparently.
Am I the only one who thought trade?
Luol Deng sat out the game unexpectedly, and Tom Thibodeau's quotes sounded like he had no idea what was going on. He just said it was a sore achilles or calf or something similar to last time.
Players are often pulled off the court when a trade is nearing completion.
Nope, Deng's injury appears legit. He noted he's been favoring his good leg for a couple of games and hasn't been moving well, so he needed some rest. Rest as long as you need Joakim.
Butler out for awhile?
Tom Thibodeau couldn't comment on the severity of Butler's injury simply saying he didn't know how bad it was, but when you leave the stadium in crutches before interviewing anyone it's probably not good.
If you believe in fate, then it sure looks like someone wants the Bulls to have a high draft pick this season. Reminds me of the old joke about the drowning man:
A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.
Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, "Jump in, I can save you."
The stranded fellow shouted back, "No, it's OK, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me."
So the rowboat went on.
Then a motorboat came by. "The fellow in the motorboat shouted, "Jump in, I can save you."
To this the stranded man said, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith."
So the motorboat went on.
Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, "Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety."
To this the stranded man again replied, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith."
So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.
Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, "I had faith in you but you didn't save me, you let me drown. I don't understand why!"
To this God replied, "I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"
If the Bulls fight there way out of the impact players, it won't be by lack of effort from the fates to give us a top three pick. However, if fate rewards those who keep pushing and working hard but never give up then Chicago might have something good coming to them.
Bulls now tied for seventh worst record in the NBA
The Bulls have pulled into a tie with the Nets for the seventh lowest record in the NBA with their odds at the #1 pick in the draft climbing up to 3.5%, more than double their odds when they landed Derrick Rose.
I'd only ask that one of the sites adds a "games back" tracker, but I suppose you really only need to look in the win column to see how difficult your climb up the tanking ladder will be.
The Bulls are just two wins back from the teams jockeying for second and have only been out-worsted by the Philadelphia 76ers over the past 10 games.
The Nets and Knicks look like locks to slide past Chicago back towards playoff contention which means if the Bulls slide continues that they'll be sitting around sixth before having to pass the teams that are really trying hard to lose which even at sixth gives them a 21% chance at a top three pick which is a pretty good shot at a franchise changing player.
Hell, it wouldn't surprise if a franchise changing player is available at six.
If the Bulls ever get healthy again, they could make a run at something, but who knows what the odds of that are? If Jimmy Butler's injury is significant (and leaving on crutches certainly implies he's not bad the next game at a minimum) then Chicago will really be down at least one man for awhile.
Who knows what happens with Deng/Hinrich, but it certainly doesn't look good for our playoff odds now.
As I've always said, you want to be decisive with these things. Last season was fun, it was good to get that series win. This year, that's not going to happen. This year the draft is much, much better. This year, the Bulls are losing key guys in FA anyway, so move them ahead of time.
I know I've pounded the idea home over and over, but as the Bulls drop further and further it becomes more and more obvious what the correct decision is. Just make it while you still have a chance to compete with Milwaukee, Orlando, and Philadelphia for those worst few records in the league.