Odds for the Chicago Bulls collapsed in the last week or so.
They were humiliated on Tuesday at home as the Utah Jazz throttled them 132-108 in Internet sports betting. Things have gone from bad to worse for the Bulls as they now are going to be without top scorer Luol Deng.
Sports betting had Deng with a strained right calf. He is likely to miss some time and the Bulls simply can’t afford to have him out right now. They are already missing Joakim Noah. ”[Deng] has a little calf issue, a little strain,” coach Vinny Del Negro said, ”We’ll see how he feels, but I think he’s gonna be out for a while. I don’t know how long.”
The Bulls were looking like a playoff team a week ago but now they look like an Internet sports betting mess. Losing Joakim Noah to injury pushed the team right over the edge. They are not rebounding the ball and now they won’t even be able to score as much without Deng. ”We just have to try and find a way to weather the storm and find a way to get better defensively,” Del Negro said. ”We have to get back to where we were defensively, holding teams to where we liked them. That’s how we won games early.” Del Negro may be right but without Noah, who is one of their better defenders it doesn’t seem likely that things are going to get better. ”Obviously, we’re a different team than we were with our personnel and things, but we still have to continually get better and find ways in practice. No one’s gonna feel sorry for you. We’ve got a tough stretch right now, but we just have to find ways to keep ourselves in games and give ourselves an opportunity at the end and try to steal one or two.”
That sounds like a coach who could be on the way out. Del Negro saved his job earlier this season but if the Bulls miss the playoffs, and all indications are now that they will, Chicago could be looking for a new head coach. Chicago could be out of the playoff race by the time they get their injured players back. They had lost five straight heading into a road trip where they may not win a game in sports betting. They are at Orlando, Miami, Memphis and Dallas. They probably won’t win any of those games which would stretch the losing streak to nine and probably end any playoff chances.