Sunday, February 5, 2023

The Chicago Bulls Will Be Title Contenders This Season For These Three Reasons

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With the NBA regular season beginning in just 20 days the countdown is on for teams to be ready. After making it back into the playoffs last season the Bulls are headed into another season with high expectations. This team just gave starting shooting guard Zach LaVine a max contract. They also brought back the remainder of the starting five and a good portion of the reserves. The starting five at the beginning of last season only played five games together before injury ravaged the team. This season they will be without starting point guard Lonzo Ball for an unknown amount of time. However, this isn’t exactly a surprise and the team can prepare for this throughout training camp. With training camp starting earlier this week we got a glimpse into the energy level heading into this season. It looks like the Bulls are ready to start this season.



Of course, a team is always going to put out a video that shows energy and all of the good pieces of training camp. However, there’s one piece you can take away that is going to be a big reason why the Bulls will compete for a championship, continuity. 

1. Continuity 

I know this is going to sound like something a front office would say after having a quiet offseason but it’s true. The Bulls made some moves but overall they kept this team very similar to last season. The reason for doing this is to give this team continuity. Instead of changing up the starting lineup every year, they are giving these guys time to work with one another and be familiar with each other’s game. That in turn allows them to play more free-flowing and in sync with one another. Continuity is one of those things that gets overlooked in the NBA because most teams just buy superstars and hope for the best. I know a lot of fans have knocked the Bulls for their decision to not make major changes. While the fans may be upset the only piece that matters is the players. From the outside looking in it seems like the players agree with the decision. Bull’s team leader Zach LaVine had this to say about continuity,

“The word continuity, you guys are saying, but ‘familiarity’ that I use and getting chemistry on the court, that doesn’t just happen in one, two years. All the good teams and teams that make deep playoff runs each and every year know each other and have been together for a while. I think that’s something that you can definitely establish and grow from.”

Continuity or familiarity isn’t something you can gain in the offseason. You gain it from playing with one another over a significant period. The Bulls are getting just that and as long as everyone can stay healthy we can expect to see this team playing in sync with one another all year long. On top of continuity, we are going to see a progression from young players on the team and that will only help the team be even more fierce. 

2. Progression of young players

Ayo Dosunmu

The Bulls drafted guard Ayo Dosunmu last year with the expectations that he would have some time to learn and come off the bench. Well, plans quickly changed due to the Bull’s injuries and health & safety protocols. Dosunmu ended up starting 40 games for the team last year and played in a total of 77 games. In those games, Dosunmu averaged 8.8 PPG on 52.0% shooting, 3.3 APG, & 2.8 RPG. He was a serviceable player after being thrown into the starting role unexpectedly. The thought here is that Dosunmu will improve going into his second season and he put in work during the offseason to do just that.

Dosunmu added muscle in the offseason and focused on his stamina. Two key parts of the game especially for someone who may find themselves as the starting point guard for the team. Dosunmu scored 10+ points in 32 games last season and showed he can be an impact player. Getting more of that this season will put the Bulls in a great position even without Lonzo Ball.

Patrick Williams

I won’t sugarcoat it, last season was disappointing for forward Patrick Williams. We must factor in his injury just five games into the season but overall he didn’t look like the player many predicted. In the first five games of the season, he still looked timid offensively and on the same level as the player from the previous year. The good thing for Bulls fans is he finished the season on a high note. Over the last 11 games of the season, Williams averaged 14 PPG while shooting 53.6% from the floor. He only played a total of 17 games so finishing like that is a good sign. Head coach Billy Donovan touched on what he wants to see from Williams heading into this season.

Williams got his first full training camp and offseason of his career. His development over this offseason is going to be a big piece for him to come in and be aggressive for the Bulls. If Williams can step up and be a guy to average 14 points per game the Bulls will find themselves on the winning end of a lot of games.

Dalen Terry

I won’t go into too much here but the Bulls selected guard Dalen Terry in the first round of this year’s draft. With the injury concerns for Lonzo Ball, the Bulls are going to need as many good players at the guard position as they can get. Terry is a player who can make a difference coming off the bench for this team. He is a 6’7″ guard who showed in the offseason he can be an offensive weapon. He will likely be slowly introduced to the game barring any injuries. Terry is prepping for his first year in the league in the best way possible.

Getting himself bigger is only going to help him in this league. Terry is setting himself up for success and could be an important piece coming off the bench for the Bulls this year. While it’s going to be important for these young players to step up the Bulls made some important moves this offseason to give themselves some insurance.

3. Key offseason additions

Like I said earlier the Bulls didn’t make too many off-season additions as they focused on continuity. However, the additions they did make are very important ones. The first addition was at the most important position on the court, point guard.

Goran Dragic

The Bulls brought in a 15-year NBA veteran in guard Goran Dragic. Over Dragic’s career, he’s averaged 13.7 PPG & 4.8 APG. He’s played the point guard position well over his time in the league and he’s going to be very important for the Bulls. Whether that be starting or coming off the bench he’s going to be able to teach the other guards a lot. Dragic is going to fit in well with this team and chose to come to Chicago for a specific reason.

Dragic already liked the way this team played last season and now will join them in playing a style he likes. In my opinion, this was the best move the Bulls could have made this offseason, and Dragic is going to be a key piece as the season rolls on.

Andre Drummond

Another key addition was center Andre Drummond. A lot of people have been down on Drummond ever since he left Detroit. Drummond proved last season with Brooklyn that he’s still got a lot left in the tank. At only 29 years old he’s still got fresh legs and can be a huge contributor to this team. One of the biggest issues last season was that once starting center Nikola Vucevic came off the court the Bulls didn’t have much at the center position. Bringing in someone like Drummond who has averaged 13.8 PPG & 13.3 RPG over his career puts the Bulls in a position they were never in last year. Drummond can man the paint and secure rebounds at a high level. That is something the Bulls desperately were looking for. Drummond still believes he can play at a high level and wants to help the Bulls win.

If Drummond can average 10+ rebounds per game and keep things rolling offensively the Bulls will be looking quite a bit different at the center position. Drummond is going to be very important throughout this season. On the off chance that Vucevic has another off year, he could even find himself in the starting rotation. Either way, Drummond is a great addition to a position that needed it.

Title Contending 2022-23 Chicago Bulls 

Those three reasons are why the Bulls will be in the conversation for the NBA Championship. Continuity is underrated and the Bulls check that box. The team’s young players are progressing and going to show they can be key pieces for this team. Finally, two key offseason additions are going to keep things afloat as the team settles in. There are a lot of non-believers in this team but they have all the tools to be successful. The pieces are all there and it’s up to this team to put them all together. This team will compete for an NBA title and put the league on notice. 

2 COMMENTS

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Lwood
Lwood
Sep 30, 2022 6:24 am

Dude, put the bong down …

greatcolbydynamics
greatcolbydynamics
Sep 29, 2022 10:58 pm

this article is insane; the bulls will struggle just to make the play-in

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