The Chicago Bulls: Still Winless at Home in 2019

The 13-43 Chicago Bulls continue to push along. They’re currently in the honeymoon phase of their acquisition of forward Otto Porter. His presence has injected life into the offense, helping the Bulls score 125 points in consecutive games. They are 1-1 in their two games with Porter in the fold.

The one loss came on Saturday in Otto’s Westside debut. The 134-125 loss to the Washington Wizards was a matchup of trade partners as Porter, Bobby Portis, and Jabari Parker played against the teams they were members of just four days prior. Porter finished the night with 17 points, two rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

The loss dropped the Bulls to 5-22 on the season at the United Center. Their .185 home winning percentage is on track to be the worst home record in franchise history. The 2001 Bulls hold the record after going 10-31 that season (.244).

It’s also shaping up to be the eighth-worst home record in league history. The 1948 Providence Steamrollers sit at “the top” after going 2-18 (.100) in front of their fans. The worst record for an 82-game season is held by the 1994 Dallas Mavericks, as they finished 6-35 (.141) at Reunion Arena.

If it’s of any consolation, the Bulls home record isn’t the worst of 2018-19. The 4-22 New York Knicks are pacing the league for this distinction.

Wins, in general, have been hard to come by for the Bulls since the turn of the year. It took the Bulls 10 games to notch their first victory in 2019: a 104-88 MLK Day blowout over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Since then, they have picked up two additional wins over the Miami Heat and Brooklyn Nets. However, both of those were also on the road. The Chicago Bulls are still winless at home in this calendar year. Their 0-9 mark at The Madhouse is actually the larger chunk of an active 10-game home losing streak. A 119-94 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Dec. 26 initiated this home run of futility.

Again, the Bulls are not alone at the bottom. The Knicks are currently 0-10 at Madison Square Garden since New Year’s Day. However, this still isn’t a good place to be, even if someone is down there with you.

This streak is even more peculiar because their road schedule has actually been tougher than their home slate. Only three of their nine home games have been against top eight teams from either conference. Meanwhile, seven of their ten road games this year have been against playoff teams. Yet and still, the Bulls are 3-7 away from Chicago since Jan. 1.

On top of that, all three of the Bulls’ road wins came over teams they also played in Chicago in 2019. They beat the Cavs in Cleveland on Jan. 21, but failed to do the same on Jan. 27 at the UC. The Heat defeated them on Jan. 19, but the Bulls found a way to throttle them 105-89 down in South Florida on Jan. 30.

It then took Otto Porter’s debut to get Chicago past the Nets 125-106 at Barclays Center on Feb. 8 after the team fell to them at home 117-100 on Jan. 6 and in Brooklyn 122-117 on Jan. 29.

Entering this week, the Bulls have two games at home before the All-Star Break: Feb. 11 against the Milwaukee Bucks and Feb. 13 versus the Memphis Grizzlies. Both teams are coming in playing well, so it won’t be an easy task.

The Bucks have become a completely new team in their first season under head coach Mike Budenholzer. They sit atop the Eastern Conference at 41-14 and are 12-2 over their last 14 games.

These teams played the Milwaukee half of this four-game series back in November. Chicago dropped 40-point first quarters in each game, but ultimately lost both. However, this Bulls team is almost a completely different squad — in terms of head coach and available players — than the one that trekked up to Fiserv Forum twice in the fall.

Memphis, meanwhile, are 23-34 on the year, the second-worst team in the Western Conference. The Grizz endured an 8-28 mid-season stretch from Nov. 23 through Feb. 1. However, they have won three of their last four games.

They recently overhauled their roster at the trade deadline, bringing in Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, and C.J. Miles from the Toronto Raptors, Avery Bradley from the Los Angeles Clippers, and Tyler Dorsey from the Atlanta Hawks. Much like the Bulls’ recent additions, Memphis’ acquisitions should bring a spark to the slumping team, making Wednesday’s game more of a challenge.

The 2018-19 season has been a mess for the Chicago Bulls, and they haven’t been able to find any comfort in their own home. Instead, their record at the United Center is on pace to be historically bad. They have two more games before the All-Star break, and 14 more this season, to start digging themselves out of this hole.

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