The Chicago Bulls had a few non-participants during Sunday's team practice, per Cody Westerlund of 670 The Score.
Otto Porter, Zach LaVine, and Kris Dunn all missed practice after their blowout 114-83 loss to the Utah Jazz Saturday. Dunn was the only one out of the trio to play in the game, as Porter (strained right rotator cuff) and LaVine (bruised right thigh, right knee tendinitis) weren't involved in the action.
While the Bulls have been clicking lately, winning two out of their last three, it seems they haven't been able to throw a fully healthy roster on the floor all season. But that doesn't give them a pass for how scarcely they've performed this year. The steps to winning consistently in the NBA have gradually morphed into how well a team can adopt the “next man up” mentality.
Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen concurs.
“We're not using that (injuries) as an excuse, that we're short with guys,” Markkanen said, per The Associated Press. “We're just trying to focus on winning the second half and playing hard and together and get better. A 36-point hole or whatever it was — it's kind of hard to come back from that.”
Chicago is 21-53, on a fast track to picking their ping-pong balls this summer before the NBA Draft.
Meaning that with eight games left in the season, crucial franchise assets like LaVine, Porter, and Dunn could be just told to call it a year to rehab their worn bodies.
The Bulls shut down Chandler Hutchison and Wendell Carter Jr. for the season on Saturday.