Tuesday 22nd January 2019,
The Hoop Doctors

LMAO Alert: Denzel Valentine Thinks Chicago Bulls ‘Have What They Need’ to Make NBA Playoffs

LMAO Alert: Denzel Valentine Thinks Chicago Bulls ‘Have What They Need’ to Make NBA Playoffs

Denzel Valentine

So, um, Denzel Valentine is really starting to feel the 2017-18 Chicago Bulls.

After starting the season 3-20, seemingly on the fast track towards the NBA’s best lottery odds, the boys in red and white have rattled off seven straight victories. This streak coincides with Nikola Mirotic’s return from facial fractures and a concussion following his dustup with Bobby Portis. The Bulls have yet to lose with him in the lineup this season.

Naturally, then, sophomore Denzel Valentine is thinking about the playoffs, or maybe a championship, or at the very least something crazy. As he told reporters after Chicago’s latest victory, this one a 112-94 win against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, per 670 The Score’s Cody Westerlund:

Mirotic, for the record, seems to be drinking from the same flask, albeit in smaller volume:

Say this about the Bulls: They don’t lack confidence for a 10-20 squad. You can say this about them, too: They’re playing out one helluva stretch.

Less than two weeks ago, they were a categorical laughingstock, ostensibly turning in one of the worst offensive performances the league has ever seen. Over these past seven games, however, they’re 10th in points scored per 100 possessions and tied for first with the Los Angeles Clippers in points allowed per 100 possessions. That is, without question, absolutely ridiculous—and completely unsustainable.

Maybe we did jump the gun on the Bulls’ season-long outlook. Maybe they’re not the worst squad in the league. Mirotic is still on fire, and they’ll probably get a little better once Zach LaVine returns from his ACL injury. But the playoffs are out of the question. They’re six games back of the East’s No. 8 seed, and more importantly, they’re not exactly dispatching top-notch competition.

Wins over the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are legit, but the Magic, New York Knicks and the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers aren’t anything special. The Utah Jazz are a quality opponent, but they’ve been up and down all year.

Don’t take anything away from these Bulls. Seriously. They’re really jelling. But don’t drink from the same cup as Denzel Valentine either. They do not have enough time or talent to make the playoffs. And besides, even if they did, the front office would probably recognize the value of derailing momentum with a fire sale ahead of the trade deadline.

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