The Chicago Bulls are the first seed in their conference, and many experts have already noted that they will win the East. However, when it comes to leaving no stone unturned during a playoff run, there is one key element to consider: injuries. Butler’s torn labrum could be devastating for the Bulls come postseason time with his injury history being too important of a factor to overlook.

The “chicago bulls record by-year” is a problem that has been present for a while. Chicago Bulls have had some of the best players in the league, but their playoff performances are not as good.

Injuries or Not, the Chicago Bulls Have a Devastating Concern Come Playoff Time

The Chicago Bulls have had virtually nothing to complain about during the previous six years.

The 39-25 Bulls will be playing playoff basketball again in the coming weeks, thanks to MVP-caliber performances from DeMar DeRozan, another All-Star season from Zach LaVine, and a strong core of starting and rotational players. That hasn’t occurred since a 41-41 Bulls team qualified for the postseason in 2017 and exited quietly in the first round.

The expectations, though, shifted sometime along the way. Rather than settling for a berth in the playoffs, Chicago intends to make a strong run for the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Unfortunately for Bulls fans in Chicago, it seems like the team’s long-awaited return to the playoffs will be short-lived.

The Bulls are faltering at an inopportune moment.

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Basketball fans were certain the Bulls were back after a 6-1 start to the season. Then, as the season progressed and injuries increased, Chicago continued to compete and win. By the All-Star break, the team had a 38-21 record, which was the best in the Eastern Conference.

The wheels, on the other hand, are beginning to come off.

Following a home win against the Atlanta Hawks to start the post-All-Star schedule, the Bulls have lost their previous four games. Last Saturday, Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Chicago Bulls 116-110 in the United Center. The Bulls were defeated 112-99 by the first-place Miami Heat two nights later in South Beach.

After losing to the Heat in a rout, the Bulls lost back-to-back games against the Hawks and the Milwaukee Bucks. On Thursday, Trae Young guided Atlanta to a 130-124 win, while Giannis Antetokounmpo buried the Bulls in Milwaukee’s 118-112 win on Friday.

The Bulls have dropped from first to third in the East during a five-game span after the All-Star break, behind Miami by three games. They’re currently tied for third place with the Bucks and just a game and a half ahead of the Boston Celtics for home-court advantage in the first round.

Whether healthy or not, the Bulls have struggled against the NBA’s elite teams.

#Bulls are now 2-14 against teams that currently have a .600 winning percentage or better.

(Ducks)

— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) March 5, 2022

Nobody is denying that the Bulls are a good team. Despite their game-changing injuries, they’re more than worthy of a high seed in the East, based on their record.

The capacity to defeat other competitors, regardless of where or when, is the mark of a great squad. That’s where the Chicago Bulls of 2021-22 fall short.

The Grizzlies, Heat, and Bucks, three teams in the top three of their respective conferences, have all played in Chicago’s four-game losing streak. Its only other four-game losing streak occurred earlier this season, when it lost to the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors, Celtics, and Grizzlies in a four-game span. All of those defeats came against among of the league’s best teams, considering the Nets were 26-14 at the time.

On a bigger scale, here’s how Chicago has performed versus each conference’s top four teams (current seed in parentheses):

  • (1) Miami Heat: 0-3
  • 76ers of Philadelphia (2): 0-3
  • Milwaukee Bucks (3) are 0-2 on the season.
  • (5) Boston Celtics: 1-1
  • The Phoenix Suns have a 0-1 record.
  • 0-2 for the Golden State Warriors.
  • Memphis Grizzlies (3) are 0-2 on the season.
  • Utah Jazz (4-0):

The Bulls are 2-14 in their last 16 games. While this gives them a 37-11 advantage over the other 21 teams, it also demonstrates how distant they are from being a serious championship contender.

When Chicago’s roster is fully functional, it will have a puncher’s chance.

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If there’s one glaring on-court flaw that the Bulls have versus top opponents, it’s their defense. With a 21st-ranked defensive rating entering the weekend, Chicago is offsetting their fourth-ranked offense.

The team’s top three players, DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic, must all commit to improving the defense. However, whenever injured guards Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso return to play, the whole team will see a significant improvement.

Ball had knee surgery a few days after his injury on Jan. 14. A six-to-eight-week schedule was provided to the 2017 second-overall choice. Meanwhile, Caruso broke his wrist on Jan. 21 as a result of a cheap shot by Bucks player Grayson Allen, an ailment that was expected to last six to eight weeks. His injury occurred only days after he returned following a 13-game hiatus due to an unrelated ailment.

Both Ball and Caruso might return in mid-to-late March, assuming there are no setbacks. Before going into the playoffs, Chicago would get some much-needed defensive reinforcements.

Even when both guards were healthy and the defense was solid, the Bulls were unable to defeat great teams throughout the league. If they can’t win those playoff-like games now, they won’t be able to win the actual games when they start next month.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics.

In the coming weeks, the Bulls will face an NBA title-sized challenge.

The “chicago bulls championships” is a concern that has been present for a while. The Chicago Bulls have had injuries in the past, but they still manage to be successful with their players.

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