Despite being the biggest winner after the NBA trade deadline, apparently, the Bulls still have a long way to go.
They’ve gathered more losses than wins so far with their newest acquisitions, and with the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference up for grabs, head coach Billy Donovan and co. must find a way to turn their campaign around.
Elsewhere, the Nets have had a bittersweet last few days while the Lakers fans are going to smile when they hear about the fresh NBA 2021 news.
Read on below as SBOTOP breaks down the latest from the Association.
The Bulls’ playoff dreams suddenly in danger
These next few games will make or break the Bulls’ 2020/21 campaign. After going 3-9 in their last 12 matches, their NBA 2021 odds to make it back to the postseason is looking quite bleak.
Even with the addition of All-Star Nikola Vucevic, Chicago’s margin for error remains small as they are at the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference with a 22-33 record.
Chicago may have been much better on offence, but the same can’t be said on the defencive end as head coach Billy Donovan lamented that his team looks lost especially during their recent loss against the Orlando Magic.
The Bulls have given up 117.9 points per 100 possessions in most of their lineup combinations since the trade which is slightly worse than the Kings, who have been inconsistent for the whole season.
And it gets even worse for them as Zach LaVine will be out for at least 10-14 days due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
LaVine was having a career year with the Bulls – averaging 27.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. And with him sidelined, the Bulls will need several players to step up to try and fill the void.
One of them should be Coby White, who’s experiencing a rollercoaster campaign so far. After a solid start to the season, White lost his starting role to Tomas Satoransky as the latter appears to be a more natural fit since he is a pass-first point guard.
With LaVine out, White is primed to be the go-to scorer at the guard position as shown during his last outing against the Grizzlies.
The 21-year-old dropped 27 points and seven assists in the said match and he is expected to do more of the same if the Bulls plan on sneaking into the playoff picture.
Nets lose LaMarcus Aldridge to retirement
Basketball fans were left in shock when LaMarcus Aldridge recently announced his retirement.
The Nets forward had to exercise caution and walk away from the game that he loves due to an irregular heartbeat issue that might worsen if left unchecked.
In 2007, he was diagnosed with the Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. It is a rare congenital condition that causes a rapid heartbeat which may lead to serious heart problems. It can also be noted that Aldridge sat out a few games for the Spurs back in 2017 due to an occurrence of a minor heart arrhythmia.
Aldridge signed with the Nets last March after agreeing to a buyout with the Spurs, where he had spent five seasons. The seven-time NBA All-Star played his first nine years of his career with the Blazers.
James Harden and Anthony Davis show signs of progress
NBA stars James Harden and Anthony Davis might return on the hardwood sooner than expected.
Nets GM Sean Marks indicated that James Harden is “progressing well” after being diagnosed with a right hamstring strain last week. However, he noted that Harden will need a few more practice sessions under his belt before returning to the court.
Harden has already missed the Nets’ last five games. Prior to the injury, The Beard had been considered one of the frontrunners for league MVP with averages of 25.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 10.9 assists per game.
On the other hand, Frank Vogel was happy to learn about Anthony Davis’ imminent return as he’s been cleared for full-contact practice.
Anthony Davis aggravated his right Achilles during their February matchup against the Denver Nuggets. Prior to the injury, Davis posted norms of 22.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, and 1.3 steals per game.
The Lakers went 13-14 in the 27 games that Davis missed and the Lakers have fallen from #2 to #5 in the Western Conference.
Furthermore, Los Angeles is slated to face Utah in back-to-back games at Staples Center and Vogel bared that Davis’ possible return in one of those games is “not out of the question”.
CHECK OUT OUR BLOG FOR MORE BASKETBALL STORIES & ODDS
Stay updated with everything sports and betting.