Make no mistake, the Chicago Bulls have played well this season. Not only have the Bulls surpassed their 31-win total from last season, they’ve also surpassed their win total from each of the last four seasons.
Heading into their Monday night game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the Bulls had posted losses in their last four games. Given the fact that Chicago had lost the previous three meetings between the ball clubs, the team was looking to turn things around, and in a big way.
Unfortunately for the Bulls, that didn’t happen. Sure, it was a competitive affair in the first half as they trailed by just six points (59-53) going into the break. But in the second half, the Sixers pulled away en route to a 121-106 victory, extending Chicago’s losing streak to five games. Joel Embiid powered the home team with a dominating 43-point (15-for-27 shooting), 14-rebound performance.
Chicago Bulls continue to struggle against the elite teams in the conference
As good as the Bulls have been this season, they continue to come up short against the better teams in the league. For example, the Bulls have dropped both of their outings against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks. Against the Miami Heat—who currently hold the top spot in the East—the Bulls are 0-3. Two of those three losses were by a double-digit margin.
What about the Sixers’ squad the Bulls lost to on Monday night? Well, the Bulls are now 0-4 against the team with the second-best record in the conference. And the average margin of victory for the Sixers is 10 points per contest. Not only that, but the Bulls have dropped each of their previous 11 games against the Sixers. To put this into perspective, the Bulls have not won a game against the Sixers in three years. That win in question occurred back on March 6, 2019 — a span of over three years.
Barring a total collapse down the stretch, the Bulls are on pace to end their four-year playoff drought. However, their postseason run will be a very short one, if they’re not able to improve on the defensive end of the floor. Simply put, the team has 17 games left to right the ship or risk getting bounced in the first round.