Why Scottie Pippen doesn't think Bulls are built for NBA Playoffs

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Why Pippen doesn't think Bulls are built for playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Scottie Pippen took note of the Chicago Bulls' improvements in the 2021-22 season, when, fueled by a slew of free-agent additions, they vaulted from 31 to 46 regular-season wins and made the playoffs for the first time in five years.

"Last year they definitely made some acquisitions that made them better," Pippen told NBC Sports Chicago while promoting a partnership with DICK's Sporting Goods to give back to Chicago through a basketball camp and gear giveaway.

"Throughout the regular season they definitely looked a lot better. I think (DeMar) DeRozan definitely brought them some firepower that they needed from an offensive standpoint."

But Pippen also saw what many fans saw down the stretch of the campaign and in the Bulls' five-game, first-round defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks: A wounded team that's flaws were revealed over time.

"I think (in the) postseason they sort of fell back into the slot that they've been in for the last 10 or 15 years. They're just not a team that's built for the postseason," Pippen said. "They had some injuries this year, but the other teams out there are continuing to improve.

"Milwaukee is still gonna be strong, Miami (Heat). So even (if) the improvements that they (the Bulls) are making is drastic improvement, other teams are making moves too. They're (other teams) really not giving them (the Bulls) a chance to close the gap.

Indeed, the Bulls stood relatively pat this offseason, adding veteran reinforcements in Andre Drummond and Goran Dragić, but mostly counting on improved health, internal development and a year's worth of continuity yielding better results in 2022-23.

That strategy could very well work. But Pippen sees the organization, which has made it out of the first round just four times since its last title in 1998, as far away from truly competing for a championship.

How does he think they can close the gap against the elites of the East?

"Kevin Durant," Pippen said with a laugh.

He then added: "But I will say this, in my era... Myself and Michael (Jordan) dominated the Eastern Conference. And when I look at the game right now, the Milwaukee Bucks have been dominant in the East. Until you're able to find an answer for Giannis (Antetokounmpo), I think the Bulls will be a team that will be in the middle of the road, because he is the most dominant player in the game right now.

"Unfortunately for them (the Bulls), he plays in the East. He's the target that they've gotta get around."

Sage words, especially given Antetokounmpo averaged 28.6 points, 13.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.4 blocks against the Bulls in the first round last season, spearheading what began as a competitive series unraveling into a rout from Game 3 on.

The development of Patrick Williams looms large in this scenario, as does the health of Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, two of the league's best perimeter defenders. But even those three operating at their peaks would face a taller-than-tall task against a player of Antetokounmpo's capabilities and physical gifts.

And unfortunately for the Bulls, prime Scottie Pippen isn't walking through that door.

Click here to follow the Bulls Talk Podcast.

Download

Download MyTeams Today!