Jabari Parker, who’d been playing well on offense, will no longer be part of the Bulls rotation. That news dropped right before game time in Mexico City. Then Jabari did play, briefly, against the Magic. Word is he only got a few minutes because Chandler Hutchison was sick. Not sure what the plan is moving forward. Jabari was calm & cool about it and supportive of the team in his post game comments. I don’t know if he’s trade material or if they keep him around or buy him out. Either way, it’s a shame management even bothered to bring him home if it’ll end this way. I know he lacks defensive instincts, but he brings some value, right? Not for me to decide, I suppose.
He wasn’t going to be the star I secretly hoped he might be for the Bulls and his presence hasn’t upped the win total. I tend to root for hometown guys, so my vision is clouded. Overall, I’ll be fine with the decision as long as they don’t force him to wither on the bench all season. I know, he’s making $20 million, so don’t cry for him. But a clean break is better for everyone. Trade him, if possible, or buy him out and move on. Maybe Jabari could help a team in need of bench scoring.
On to the game, a 97-91 loss to Orlando. Lauri Markkanen’s shot was off, actually his whole game wasn’t smooth for whatever reason. But, like a true baller, he sunk a huge 3 to tie the game at 91. Those would be the Bulls’ last points, as Kris Dunn turned it over and Zach LaVine missed a shot. Early in the game, Zach was the one who had it going. His scoring is so reliable and it comes so easily to him, at times you feel like he can’t miss. Justin Holiday turned it up in the 2nd half, catching fire and putting the Bulls back in the game. But, after all was said and done, Nikola Vucevic killed ’em. They struggled to contain the big man all game and he hit a jumper to help Orlando pull away at the very end.
The Bulls new rotation (one Kris Dunn is back in the starting lineup – probably by Saturday- will look like this when everyone (minus Denzel Valentine) is healthy:
Starters: Dunn, LaVine, Holiday, Lauri, Carter
Reserves: Arch, Harrison, Hutch, Portis, Lopez
The lean towards defense – especially on that second unit – I understand it from Boylen’s perspective. And I do prefer two-way players and you know I love defense. I’m just puzzled how management ever thought bringing Jabari to Chicago was ever going to work. I mean, I got excited when they signed him. But I’m a fan. They’re not supposed to get me excited about stuff like that if they know better.
Ah, well, The season goes on. In San Antonio Saturday night. Let’s get one.