One word perfectly summarizes where the Bulls stand as a franchise…rebuilding. Last season marked one of the worst records for the Bulls in franchise history, a head coaching turnover as well as some roster shake up made for a less than stable situation in the Windy City. The Chicago Bulls will be a better team than last year, but how much better? First, we need to look at their roster.
PG: Tomas Satoransky
SG: Zach LaVine
SF:Otto Porter Junior
C: Wendall Carter Jr.
It is said in the NBA that good teams win close games, and I think that two things are going to result in the Bulls dropping a lot of close games. The first is having an inexperienced head coach. I think that Jim Boylan was an upgrade from Fred Hoiberg, but he still is lacking NBA head coaching experience. Getting named the head coach early on last season, and in that time, he went Seventeen and forty-one. The second thing is the clear lack of veteran leadership on this team, the only guy with extensive NBA experience that will see large amounts of playing time is Thaddeus Young. Without guys who have the experience that are getting meaningful minutes it will lead to a lot of mistakes that will cost the Bulls games down the stretch. Now it is not all bad since they have some decent young talent, and I think that Lauri Markkanen entering his third NBA season is a prime candidate to make a pretty forward leap for this team. Averaging 18 points a game last season, I am very confident that he will become a twenty plus point per-game scorer. Zach LaVine was the main scoring option for the Bulls a season ago averaging twenty-three points a game, he will be there number one option starting off, but I think it will transition over to Markkanen as the season goes on. The last notable thing on their roster will be who gets the majority of minutes at point? With Tomas Satoransky, Kris Dunn and Coby White all competing for the position, as it stands it looks like Tomas Satoransky is going to start the year off, but with many downs I can see them trying to get Coby White their seventh overall pick some minutes to get experience.
Outlook versus the Bucks: 0-4
When it comes to the Bucks last season, they showed that they could beat the teams that they had a clear skill advantage over and verse the Bulls last season the Bucks proved that. Playing the Bulls four times last season and getting a Win over them in every game that they played the Bulls. With all of them being substantial wins except for one game where the Bulls got within three points. The Bucks first game is at home on November Fourteenth with a quick turn around on November Eighteenth in Chicago, then December thirtieth in Chicago, and finally January Twentieth in Milwaukee. With none of these games being a double header and the Bucks being the clear better team with a better head coach it should be much of the same outcome for the Bucks and Bulls this season.
Projected Win/Loss: 26-56
When looking at how this team has started their pre-season, at the time of writing this article the Bulls have zero wins and three loses including a blowout to the Milwaukee Bucks as well as the Pacers and losing a close game to the Pelicans. In the NBA it usually takes one of three things to really move the needle for a bottom feeding team. A great head coach, a significant free agent signing or the drafting of a highly touted draft pick. I do not think the Bulls did really anything close to those three things which means to the excitement of Bucks fans, another rebuilding year for the Chicago Bulls.
By:Michael Sawasky (@Sawask00)
(All stats via basketball-reference.com)