The Chicago Bulls have coughed and spluttered their way through the 2015-2016 NBA season so far, failing to make the playoffs.
The Bulls are all but out of contention to make the postseason, which will certainly be considered a failure in the Windy City for a franchise that has made the playoffs for seven seasons in a row - with their last finish outside the top eight coming in 2007-08.
That disappointment has hit hard for Pau Gasol, who joined a Bulls side that looked like they could make serious moves with an All-Star backcourt combination of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. The Spaniard lamented the Bulls' play in a recent interview.
"No matter how talented you are, you don't win based on talent," Gasol said yesterday, according to ESPN. "You win based on desire, togetherness, effort, determination, things that are important."
Gasol went on to lament the Bulls' poor defensive play, saying they've relied far too much on their offense to try and make up for a complete lack of effort on the defensive side of the ball.
"We just haven't had the defensive mindset, nor emphasis on it, so we paid the price a lot of times. We've been too casual many times, and that's why we are where we are."
With Chicago wanting to hang on to Gasol for the next season or more, it begs the question what must they do to keep him. Well, according to the man himself, the Bulls need to close out the season strong in their last few games.
"Nothing is set right now," Gasol said after the loss to the Heat. "Definitely, I will evaluate what I need to when the time comes. But the way the team has responded to adversity and the way we finished up the season has not been so far great, and it's been disappointing.
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