In what should now be considered an absolute free fall, the Chicago Bulls suffered their fourth-straight loss on Wednesday night to three former members of the team.
All of Gary Harris, Michael Carter-Williams, and Wendell Carter Jr. scored in double figures in the Orlando Magic’s 115-106 win. Chicago’s now 10 games below .500, a season-worst.
The Bulls’ playoff window is closing with just 22 games to go.
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Gary Harris, Former Bulls First-Round Pick
Fans will no doubt remember that Gary Harris was originally drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the 19th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, before ultimately packaging him with Jusuf Nurkic in a draft-day deal for Doug McDermott.
The guard spent the following six seasons with the Denver Nuggets, before being shipped out among many on the day of the trade deadline to the Orlando Magic in return for Aaron Gordon.
It was just his third game with his new team, but Harris had a strong night against the Bulls. He finished with 15 points, a team-high six assists, and a block in 30 minutes on Wednesday.
Gary Harris 🤩 pic.twitter.com/deyf0DQqmd
— jeremy (@jeremywilsonnn) April 15, 2021
Gary Harris may be in Orlando for just a brief time, with unrestricted free agency awaiting him in the offseason, but this game against the Chicago Bulls will certainly leave it’s mark.
An Ex-Point Guard Experiment
He spent just one season with the Chicago Bulls, but former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams is experiencing a renaissance season as a starter for the Orlando Magic.
The 29-year old put up 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block in Wednesday’s win. That includes a late-game steal on Zach LaVine and following dunk to all-but seal the game.
As far as playing against his (briefly) former team, and former teammate Nikola Vucevic, Carter-Williams downplayed any hard feelings when speaking with reporters postgame:
Vooch is one of my favorite teammates of all time. He’s a great guy, a great player, an All-Star in this league. It’s obviously tough to play against him, he spreads the floor out. He makes it tough. It was good competition, it was good to see him, but I’m glad we got the win.
He may have not been the point guard the Chicago Bulls needed back in 2016-2017, but Michael Carter-Williams certainly looked the part on Wednesday night.
An All Too Familiar Face
Lastly, but most certainly not least, Wednesday night’s loss wouldn’t hold even remotely the same gravity if it weren’t for the performance had by Wendell Carter Jr.
The 22-year old big went off for 19 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block in 31 minutes.
Carter Jr. is just three weeks removed from the trade that uprooted him from his only NBA home in the Windy City and sent him packing down to Florida to join up with the Orlando Magic.
Despite acquiring Nikola Vucevic in that deal at the trade deadline, the Chicago Bulls have yet to put all the pieces together an assemble a respectable on-court product.
There’s no greater testament to their struggles than Wednesday’s loss to the rebuilding Magic.
For Orlando, it’s only up from here.
But the “win-now” Chicago Bulls have got their work ahead of them.
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