Wednesday, February 8, 2023

The Bulls Victory Last Night Was One Of A Kind


The Chicago Bulls are currently 6-1 and sit atop the Eastern Conference. This team has come out firing on all cylinders and clicking with one another. After a busy offseason, this team was still being slept on. Now 7 games into the regular season they are proving just how good of an offseason the Bulls had. Last night’s 128-114 victory over the Boston Celtics was another key example. In the team’s victory last night they did something that’s never been done before in the shot clock era.

Things were looking grim as the team was heading into the 4th quarter. The Bulls are down 103-89 and Bulls fans everywhere preparing for a loss. In seasons past there would be no chance of the Bulls making a comeback. Only 7 games into the season it’s hard to break free of a mindset we’ve all had for years. However, this team proved they are different. Outscoring the Celtics 39-11 in the final quarter and winning by 14 points and getting the decisive victory. So what’s different about this team that allows them to make comebacks and not blow leads? Obviously, the players are different but it’s something about this team’s mentality that appears to be the X factor.

Everyone is bought in

Compared to seasons past it just looks like every single player on the court is bought in. They all know how important every facet of the game is and are listening to head coach Billy Donovan. Not only are they bought into Donovan’s game plan but they are very clearly bought in when it comes to defense. This team has done a complete 180 when it comes to defense and it’s because everyone is buying in.

Ahead of the season, there was a lot of talk about the Bulls being a poor defensive team and you have to believe that fueled this team’s fire. Over the team’s 7 games they have faced off against some good offensive teams including the league’s final undefeated team in the Utah Jazz. The Bulls have been proving that they are a force in the East and don’t intend to slow down. While the team as a collective unit has performed well there’s one player specifically who is proving everyone wrong.

DeMar DeRozan is on a mission

Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan looks to be on a mission to prove every single person who thought he was a “poor fit” wrong. DeRozan over 7 games is averaging 25.6 PPG, 49.3 %FG, 5.7 RPG, & 4.0 APG. His game has fit perfectly with this team and he’s meshing with every single player on the team. When it’s mattered most he has made big plays including last night scoring 37 points and grabbing 7 boards. He is picking up right where he left off from last season and he’s elevating this Bulls team to another level.

There’s simply no denying how well he has fit on this team thus far. There’s still a lot of this season to go but being concerned about DeRozan fitting with this team shouldn’t be on anyone’s mind. One thing on many fans’ minds is what will this team do at the power forward position. After losing forward Patrick Williams for likely the season there is concern over depth at that position. With the way things are starting, the Bulls appear to have time on their side.

It’s not a concern until it becomes one

Since Williams went down the Bulls are 2-0. Yes, that’s a very small sample size however this team has done well with the small-ball lineup. The Bulls have gone with forwards Javonte Green in place of Williams and it has worked out alright. This team has the ability to play fast with this lineup and it’s worked out so far. This team also has the benefit of playing forward Derrick Jones Jr. and center Tony Bradley. While neither is filling in at the stereotypical power forward position they are still contributing to the overall team success. In the current state, the loss of Williams hasn’t been a problem. However, down the road, it certainly could be. The Bulls may need to look into the free-agent pool if that becomes the case.

Currently, the smaller lineup is working and you better believe Donovan is going to stick with it. The team is 6-1 and the best team in the East. Going up against some tough competition over the next couple of weeks will be the ultimate test for this team. After this stretch of games, we will certainly know if we need to add someone to create power forward depth. For now, I am just going to sit back and enjoy Bulls basketball. This team is clicking and let’s watch them continue to be a force on the court.

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