Bulls Players, Coaches Hold Meeting Following Loss to Magic

Daniel KramerFeatured ColumnistMarch 27, 2016

Chicago Bulls guard Mike Dunleavy (34) argues with an official during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic in Orlando, Fla., Saturday, March 26, 2016. The Magic won 111-89. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

With their season slipping away, Chicago Bulls players and coaches held a meeting following their third straight loss on Saturday—a 111-89 shellacking by the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.

Per ESPN.com, head coach Fred Hoiberg said Sunday the Bulls "aired some things out" in their pre-practice meeting.

The Bulls have fallen out of the playoff picture to ninth place at 36-36, two games behind the Detroit Pistons for the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference.   

Forward Mike Dunleavy talked about the Bulls' on-court struggles after the loss, per ESPN.com:

It's just a lot of stuff. To say it's like one thing we're not doing right and that would solve everything, that's just not the case. It’s a bunch of stuff we're struggling with. Not only with effort, but execution and discipline and continuity. You can go through the whole thing. So from that standpoint I can't sit here and say it's one thing, or we're not playing hard enough. We need to do everything better.

Dunleavy also offered some sobering comments on his views of the team and its fate, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

The Bulls have gone 18-24 in 2016 and dropped from fourth place in the East at the start of the year. 

Losing leading scorer Jimmy Butler for a month because of a knee injury didn’t help, and Joakim Noah is also gone for the year after suffering a shoulder injury.

Derrick Rose’s steady decline has been concerning as well, as it seems like ages ago now when he was on top of the basketball world as the 2010-11 MVP.

The Bulls only have four players on their roster that are scoring in double figures, and their collective offense is shooting just 44 percent—fifth-worst in the league. 

Even with nearly three weeks until the playoffs, Dunleavy called the Bulls’ upcoming slate a “do or die week,” per ESPN.com. That stretch includes games against the Atlanta Hawks—who’ve won eight of their last 10—and the Houston Rockets, as well as the Indiana Pacers and Pistons, who are each two games ahead in the East. 

The Bulls will need to get on a serious tear if they hope to continue playing in late April, and it might be too late already.