If I had told you this in January, you’d probably ask how this has happened. A few things happened with the Bulls: injuries to key players that matched up with the Bulls’ most challenging stretch of games.
This is a stat that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In the past few weeks, this stat has been thrown onto the television screen more times than I can count: the Bulls are 0-16 against the top three-seeded teams in both conferences.
This narrative is difficult to read, but it’s entirely accurate. Top teams aren’t afraid of the Bulls like they were at the beginning of the season. The Bulls have a few more opportunities to change the narrative. The Bulls can redeem themselves in the final stretch of games where the NBA’s best will be playing the Bulls. This can give the fans some confidence or make the Bulls drop into the lower seeds of the Eastern Conference.
Billy Donovan altered the Bulls’ game plan Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Since Alex Caruso came back from his wrist injury, Caruso has started in three games. In Caruso’s return, the Bulls were 2-5, which allowed Donovan to change things up. In Saturday’s game, rookie guard Ayo Dosunmu started alongside Caruso, in addition to Zach Lavine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vučević. Caruso comments on the move and how it affects his play against the Cavaliers,
“I don’t know if burden is the right word, but I think it allowed me to play the game I’m best at.”
The Bulls defeated the Cavaliers, and Caruso played a balanced game, scoring 10 points, securing eight rebounds, and dishing out seven assists. The Bulls played excellent defense, allowing the least points since Caruso’s return. The Cavs shot only 41 percent from the field, including 22 percent from the three-point line.
The Bulls finish March against the Knicks, Wizards, and the Clippers. The Bulls finishing out March 3-0 would be crucial in a tight Eastern Conference race.