The five worst mo­ments of the Bulls’ sea­son.

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - CHICAGO SPORTS - By Chris Sosa [email protected]­bune.com Twit­ter @chris­man­uel­sosa

How bad was this Bulls sea­son? De­pends on one’s criteria.

It prob­a­bly felt like the worst ever from a fan’s per­spec­tive. Be­tween the times the team was on the wrong side of the score­board, the messy coach­ing change and the string of in­juries, it added up to months of mis­ery.

Quan­ti­ta­tively, this sea­son’s 22-60 record and .268 win­ning per­cent­age were not dead last. The fran­chise’s most dread­ful record in terms of win­ning per­cent­age came in 2000-01, when the Bulls were 15-67 (.183). The 1998-99 squad man­aged a fran­chise-low 13 wins, but that sea­son was only 50 games.

The Bulls were 5-19 (.208) in De­cem­ber when they made a coach­ing change, oust­ing Fred Hoiberg for as­sis­tant coach Jim Boylen, who went 17-41 (.293). Call it in­cre­men­tal progress.

Much of team’s strug­gles could be blamed on a lack of health. The Bulls lost 276 player games to in­jury or ill­ness, in­clud­ing Den­zel Valen­tine’s zero games played.

This year’s Bulls spent 16 days in the base­ment of the East­ern Con­fer­ence and five days in last place in the NBA. They fin­ished with the fifth-worst record in fran­chise his­tory by win­ning per­cent­age.

Yet all those dour fig­ures only be­gin to cap­ture how headache-in­duc­ing this sea­son was. Here’s how we rank their worst mo­ments.

5. Nice to see you?

The long­est the Bulls went with­out a win this sea­son? That would be 10 games, from Dec. 30 to Jan. 19. The last of those de­feats came in Dwyane Wade’s fi­nal game in Chicago, a 117-103 Heat win. Wade went for 14 points, 10 re­bounds and seven as­sists in 27 min­utes off the bench.

4. Hard feel­ings

Al­though the trade the Bulls made Feb. 6 was not the only one they ex­e­cuted this sea­son, it ap­peared to be the most seis­mic.

Right be­fore tipoff against the Pel­i­cans at the United Cen­ter, they dealt Bobby Por­tis and Jabari Parker to the Wizards for Otto Porter Jr. The Tri­bune’s K.C. John­son re­ported that Por­tis, who ear­lier in the week said he hoped to stay with the Bulls, looked emo­tional as he left the United Cen­ter.

Parker in par­tic­u­lar was in dis­be­lief that Por­tis was dealt.

“It’s just sur­pris­ing to me be­cause Bobby is — quote, un­quote — the leader, the cap­tain of our team and just a guy they loved,” Parker said. “For him to get moved is ob­vi­ously bit­ter.”

To top it all off, the Bulls lost 125-120 to the Pel­i­cans, at the time ty­ing a fran­chise record with their ninth straight home de­feat.

3. Home not-so-sweet home

In los­ing 96-86 to the Knicks — ahem, the team that ended up with the worst record in the NBA — on April 9 at the United Cen­ter, the Bulls set a fran­chise record with 32 home losses.

It was the fi­nal gut punch dur­ing a sea­son that in­cluded a fran­chise-record 11 straight home losses.

2. Worst. Loss. Ever.

On Dec. 8, the Bulls lost 133-77 to the Celtics at the United Cen­ter. It goes down as the worst de­feat in fran­chise his­tory, and it knocked the Bulls into last place in the East at 6-21.

They trailed 17-0 be­fore Jabari Parker scored the Bulls’ first points on free throws at the 5:42 mark. Robin Lopez fi­nally made the team’s first field goal at the 5:06 mark.

Boylen not once but twice sub­sti­tuted all five starters, and he kept the starters on the bench for the fi­nal 21 min­utes.

“I do not know,” a frus­trated Zach LaVine said after­ward, try­ing to ex­plain how the game got away from the Bulls.

“There’s a lot of ques­tions you could ask, but I re­ally don’t know.”

1. A near mutiny

If there was any­thing that could sink the Bulls lower than the worst loss in fran­chise his­tory (see No. 2), this was it.

On Dec. 9, the fall­out ar­rived swiftly as some play­ers raised the pos­si­bil­ity of boy­cotting prac­tice via a text chain but ended up hold­ing a play­ers-only meet­ing, which was fol­lowed by a team meet­ing with coaches and man­age­ment.

“This is a fam­ily thing,” Boylen said, adding it was his de­ci­sion not to hold prac­tice. “This is open lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. We’re still learn­ing about each other. … They’re still learn­ing how I want it.

“There’s been a lit­tle shock and awe here in the last seven days and there’s an ad­just­ment to that. And that’s OK.”

JONATHAN DANIEL/GETTY

Bulls rookie Chandler Hutchi­son gets a good look at Semi Ojel­eye's dunk dur­ing the Celtics' 133-77 vic­tory Dec. 8 at the United Cen­ter. The 56-point loss was the worst in fran­chise his­tory.

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