The explosion of individual scoring has actually highlighted the importance of lineup cohesion. The surplus of scoring has made the most valuable players those who reconfigure the geometry and geography of the court, opening corridors of space on offense while bolting them shut on defense.
If Jamal Murray returns right, and nothing too drastic changes during this spell he's forced to miss, they can pick up right where they left off: in the thick of a championship hunt they just might come out of on top.
It does not appear likely that Isaiah Thomas will be a vital cog on a winning team again, but knowing something and accepting it are two different things. The awareness that all athletic glory is inherently fleeting does make its passing any easier to bear.
Because Bulls fans have become so literate in losing, and are so removed from success, it is hard for them to see the seeds of something better.
Offenses have rejiggered their attack to inflict maximum pain, allocating more possessions and touches to their best players. As recently as 2013, only 11 players averaged more than 20 points; today, 43 do.