Bulls' loss gives them worst home record in franchise history
Every Bulls player interviewed before Tuesday's home finale against New York predicted they'll be in the playoffs next season.
How exactly they'd get there remains to be seen. The Bulls finished the home schedule by losing 96-86 to the New York Knicks, owners of the NBA's worst record. In the process, the Bulls completed the worst home record in franchise history at 9-32.
One question the Bulls need to figure out this summer is what to do at point guard. Should they give Kris Dunn more time to blend in with the other starters, make him a backup, or move on completely? Dunn is well aware of the questions and criticism.
"Of course. I'm not oblivious to nothing. I hear it all day," Dunn said before the contest. "I'm a dog. I don't have nothing done to me. If I'm here next year or if I'm not here, I just control what I can control. If I'm here and they bring another point guard in, it doesn't worry me. I just go in there and play my game and be the dog that I am."
Dunn was the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 draft and still has another year on a rookie scale contract. So the Bulls don't have to move on. If they end up drafting Murray State's Ja Morant, then it seems likely Dunn will be traded. If they don't draft a point guard, the plan is anyone's guess.
Dunn felt one reason he didn't fit in this year was the scheme changed when Jim Boylen took over as head coach from Fred Hoiberg. Dunn had always been an attacking, scoring point guard, and did well in that role during the Bulls' 14-7 stretch in the 2017-18 season.
"That's just how I play, since I was yea high. I always had that ball in my hands," Dunn said. "Fred allowed me to get downhill, get to my midrange, spread the ball out to the guys and create. This system is more whoever's got it, try to get downhill.
"There was a time when Lauri (Markkanen) was getting 20 boards. The ball wasn't in my hands, so I just kind of ran into the corner. That's something they stick with, I know what I need to do this summer."
Dunn believes he can make a jump with his 3-point accuracy. In three NBA seasons, he's gone from 28.8 percent to 32.1 to 35.4 this year.
"I felt like this year I actually kind of found it toward the end of the season, a shot that works for me," Dunn said. "So I'm really excited to shoot the ball this summer and just keep doing what I do on defense. That's my key to the league, keep guarding. I think I'm one of the top defenders in this league, as a guard. I put that pressure on you."
The previous mark for worst home record was 10-31, set in the 13-win season of 2000-01. The Bulls are 13-27 on the road with one left to play in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
"You know, that's probably something I'm going to look at this summer, study a little bit better," coach Jim Boylen said of the poor record at home. "I tried not to focus on the negative of that during the season, but it's something I'm going to look into."
The problem Tuesday was an uninspired start against the Knicks. The Bulls fell behind 35-15 in the first quarter and made a few comebacks, but never caught up. Ryan Arcidiacono was the top scorer with 14 points. This was the sixth straight game for the Bulls without any of their regular starter.