The Los Angeles Clippers topped the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night, 112-106, which would be more impressive if Chicago wasn’t actively trying to lose as many games as possible before the end of the season.
Last week, the Bulls tanking efforts got to be so blatant that the league reached out to force them into playing effective veterans Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday.
Sources: The NBA issued a warning to the Chicago Bulls this week on resting healthy players, and the team now plans to play veteran starters Robin Lopez and Justin Holiday again more extensively to close the season.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 6, 2018
Lopez had played every game for Chicago before the All-Star break, averaging 27.7 minutes per game. Then the perfectly healthy center sat seven straight contests before the league interceded. It’d appear the league imposed a very specific minutes requirements for the Bulls starters, as Lopez has played exactly 12 minutes in each of the three games since, including last night’s defeat at the hands of the Clippers.
But the Bulls, apparently, won’t let anything stand in the way of their success in losing, as evidenced by this play from Tuesday night:
Bulls send all five to the glass, Clippers send all five back. Clippers still get the ball back. pic.twitter.com/rzQ53eLuwM
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) March 14, 2018
On second thought, the Clippers’ winning by only six should count as a loss.
With 15 games left in the season, the Bulls tanking methods have dropped them to the eighth-worst record in the league, good for a 2.8 percent chance of the top overall pick and a 10 percent chance at a top-three selection.