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Zach LaVine on boos from Bulls fans: “They should. It’s embarrassing.”

Nikola Jokic and Giannis Antetokounmpo emerging as clear favorites for the NBA MVP award as they continue to trade fantastic performances.

In the first months of the season, the Chicago Bulls were the league’s feel-good story. On Jan. 8, 2022, the Bulls were 26-10 and in first place in the Eastern Conference. Bulls fans were daring to dream of a potential championship.

Three months later, boos rained down on the Bulls in their home finale.

The Bulls are 6-13 since March 1, stumbling toward the playoffs and down the standings. Chicago has fallen to the No. 6 seed in the East and has become the team the top teams in the East are angling to try and play in the first round — the Bulls don’t scare anyone.

After another frustrating loss on Friday night — 133-117 to Charlotte at the United Center, a game where the Hornets led by 37 — boos were heard from Bulls’ faithful. What was Zach LaVine’s reaction to that? Via Rob Schaefer at NBC Sports Chicago:

“To be honest, they should (boo). It’s embarrassing,” he said. “We’re a really good basketball team and we’re not playing like it. They (the fans) know that. We know that. It’s understandable. We understand they (the fans) have our back. But we have to play better.”

Preseason concerns about the Bulls’ defense and depth caught up with them when Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball got hurt (Ball will miss the playoffs). Those are the next areas for the Chicago front office to address, although a healthy Patrick Williams for the entire season should help on both fronts.

This still has to be seen as a successful season for Chicago overall and a step forward — after missing the playoffs for four straight years, the Bulls return to the postseason this year. It’s a step forward and a learning experience for Chicago’s young stars.

Even if it was a frustrating season at the end for the Bulls.