John Bazemore/Associated Press
With his Chicago Bulls off to a dismal 4-11 start to the 2018-19 regular season, rookie Wendell Carter Jr. believes his team needs to work on getting on the same page in order to turn things around.
Carter recently told reporters, via NBC Sports Chicago (h/t Blog A Bull’s Paul Steeno):
“When the times get hard, I feel like we start to separate. I feel like those are the times we need each other the most. It’s not so much an offensive or defensive thing, but just coming out of timeouts we go our separate ways and instead of huddling as a team we only huddle when it’s a timeout [when the coach has us huddle]. I feel like that’s important, just to talk to one another, interact with one another throughout the game so we get a feel for one another and know we got each other’s backs. I feel like that’s where we struggle right now.”
Chicago was not expected to be a championship contender by any means this season, but after re-signing Zach LaVine and adding Carter and Jabari Parker during the offseason, they had some talent to work with in the Eastern Conference.
However, the Bulls have lost seven of their past nine games, including a 29-point blowout loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. Their only victories this month have been of the one-point varieties against the Cleveland Cavaliers (2-12) and the New York Knicks (4-11).
Some rookies may be hesitant to be open and honest about their team’s struggles. However, Carter—the No. 7 overall pick—wasn’t alone in suggesting the Bulls need to stay united.
“It’s frustrating cuz you wanna fight,” LaVine told reporters, per NBC Sports Chicago. “But we just gotta stick together and stay in the game.”
There may not be many bright spots in the Windy City this season, but LaVine (25.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists) and Carter (11.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.0 blocks) have been carrying their weight early on. However, it will take a team effort for Chicago to start winning.
Carter, LaVine and Co. will have a serious test Friday night when they take on the Central Division-leading Milwaukee Bucks (10-4) on the road. Regardless of the outcome of the game, it will give the team an opportunity to work on its chemistry as it continues to try to build for the future.