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Will the Chicago Bulls Miss the Playoffs?

Chicago Bulls Bobby Portis

The Chicago Bulls entered the 2015-16 NBA campaign expected to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference crown, but as the calendar turns to March they’re in a fight just to make the playoffs. What happened?

The Bulls (30-28) sit tied with the Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons for the eighth and final postseason spot in the East and are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in two years.

The absence of Jimmy Butler, who’s been sidelined for the better part of a month with a knee injury, has crippled the club. Derrick Rose is banged up (when is he not?) and center Joakim Noah has been out for the year, but the recent health issues cannot overshadow the inconsistency this squad showed in the first half of the season.

On January 9, the Bulls were just 2.5 games behind the conference-leading Cavaliers but have since imploded, going 8-16 to free fall down the standings. Chicago has not been out of the top eight in the East since January 1, 2014. Thirteen of their remaining 24 games are on the road – the Bulls have gone just 11-17 away from the United Center – meaning it’s very possible they finish on the outside of the playoff picture.

Online sportsbook Bovada has released a prop on whether Chicago will make the postseason, with the YES priced at -125 and the NO available at -105. Anyone who backed Fred Hoiberg’s crew at +2500 in October or bet the OVER on their 49.5 season win total may find the aforementioned prop appealing to win back what will very likely be some lost money.

Just like first-year players, rookie head coaches can struggle to find their footing in the NBA. When it comes to Hoiberg, that trend rings true. The ex-Iowa State bench boss excelled in college but has experienced some severe growing pains in his first year behind the bench in the Windy City. Hoiberg will improve over time, however, it’s become all too apparent this is simply not Chicago’s year.

The Bulls are presently +2500 to win the Eastern Conference and +6600 to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June. Do you think Chicago will be in the mix come playoff time? Let us know in the comment section.

Will the Chicago Bulls make the playoffs this year?
  • YES -125
  • NO -105
Odds as of March 1 at Bovada