Chicago’s recent free fall in the Eastern Conference standings has been the result of poor defensive play that has now reached historic levels.
According to ESPN’s Senior Statistics Analyst Jacob Nitzberg, the Bulls have allowed 100 points or more in 10 consecutive games for just the second time since Phil Jackson took over as coach prior to the 1989-90 season.
The other instance was a 12-game streak from Feb. 22-March 17, 2010, according to Nitzberg.
Taj Gibson said Fred Hoiberg was cursing players out at practice todayThe defensive woes are out of the ordinary in Chicago, where the Bulls routinely had one of the NBA’s best defensive teams under previous coach Tom Thibodeau. Chicago ranked in the top 10 in points allowed in each of Thibodeau’s five seasons with the Bulls with an average ranking of 3.2.
But the Bulls have allowed an average of more than 110 points during their past 10 games and have fallen all the way to 18th in the category – their lowest ranking since the 2008-09 season.
Part of Chicago’s recent struggles are certainly due to the absence of Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler, who both excel on the defensive end of the floor. Noah is expected to miss the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery last month and Butler (knee) is believed to be still a couple weeks away from returning.
Up next is a Wizards team averaging 102.4 points per game.
Kobe Bryant’s 15 games at the United Center
Stats via ESPN