The cracks may be starting to show in the Bulls armor. Certainly the wins aren't coming. However, Joakim Noah through a salvo at the team for not playing hard and not playing winning basketball.
"Losing sucks. There's no question about it," an expansive Joakim Noah said. "But it also shows people's true colors: Who is willing to keep fighting through the adversity, or who is just going to say, 'You know what? I don't want no part of this. And I'm just going to take bad shots and not care at all about making winning plays or playing defense.'
Who could Noah be calling out? Well the obvious target appears to be Carlos Boozer. Thibs lit up into the team during the game and Boozer was seen walking out of the huddle shaking his head and chuckling.
He shot 4/18 on the night and has never been known for making key defensive plays.
It's not so much that Noah's wrong, and the players only meeting is probably coming soon anyway, but it shows the cracks are starting to form. This kind of talk can galvanize the team if they come together or it could build mistrust and things could really fall apart at the seams especially since the group likely knows it's splitting up next season.
Either situation has it's bonuses for Bulls fans.
If the Bulls come together, then my dream of a high lotto pick will end. However, I can't say I'll be disappointed if Chicago fights back and earns a 3rd or 4th seed this year (both actually obtainable given how bad the East is) and possibly wins a 1st round match up.
At the same time, if the Bulls come apart at the seams, trade Deng/Hinrich, and fall to one of the worst teams in the NBA, draft a star, and come back loaded, I won't be crying either. In fact, I'll likely be dancing with joy.
Really the worst case scenario would be to sorta play just well enough to make the playoffs at the seven/eight seed, get annihilated in round one, and then draft five/six spots higher than if they lost two more games and miss out on a great player.
We'll see how the team responds against Orlando tonight. The Bulls finish up the final game of the five pathetic teams in a stretch tonight before going on to play several tough opponents with some weaker ones mixed in. One thing to note about the East this season, there will be plenty of stretches like this as probably 60% of the East are poor opponents.