Many years ago, the Chicago Bulls were on top of the NBA world as one of the elite teams in the league. However, the Bulls have lost that status in recent years as a result of the little success they have achieved. However, the lack of silverware and playoff appearances has not stopped the Bulls from planning for the future. For the past three seasons, Chicago Bulls have embarked on a rebuilding project which has seen them build a roster of young talents who possess the potential to become future elite stars of both the team and the NBA. For most of the NBA’s elite teams looking to rediscover their glory days, the success of a rebuilding project mostly hinges on the success of the team in a season or two. For the Bulls, the rebuilding project has come with a lot of struggles and difficulties, especially in this current season.
This season has so far been a terrible one for the Bulls who have been inconsistent. For most parts of the season before its suspension, the Bulls found it harder to pick up a lot of victories. At the moment, Chicago Bulls are 11th on the Eastern Conference table and 3rd in the Central Division with a 22-43 win-loss record. As it stands, the Bulls would miss out on a place in the playoffs if the NBA season resumes.
To assess the Bulls’ rebuilding project, we take a look at the team’s season so far. We also highlight some of the key players on the roster and their expectations for the future.
Chicago Bulls’ season so far
Despite failing to secure qualification for the playoffs for the second consecutive year at the end of last season with a 22-60 win-loss record and a 13th place finish in the Eastern Conference, there were relatively no significant changes in the Bulls roster last summer. As such, the Bulls entered this season with their roster from last season and a few draft picks.
There was the optimism of a much better campaign this term around in contrast to last season. However, things began to go wrong immediately as they won one and lost four of their opening five games of the season. The defeats came in games against Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Bulls’ only win during that period came in their season game on the road at Memphis Grizzlies. The Bulls’ second win of the season came in a 122-106 victory over Detroit Pistons in the 6th game of the season. The success was not enough to help the Bulls go on a long winning run as they lost two consecutive games against Indiana Pacers and Los Angeles Lakers. The two-game winless run came to an end in an impressive 113-93 away win over Atlanta Hawks. Another defeat followed once more at the hands of Houston Rockets. After ten games into the season, the Bulls had a 3-7 win-loss record. During that period, the inconsistencies in the team had become apparent. For some teams, bad results from games at an early stage usually prove to be the catalyst for a season turnaround. In the Bulls’ case, it was the opposite as they still struggled to win games in their next ten games, recording three victories and seven defeats to give them an abysmal 6-14 win-loss record after 20 games. Head coach Jim Boylen and his team soon recovered from the numerous setbacks to claim two successive wins over Sacramento Kings and Memphis Grizzlies. Five victories and seven defeats from the next 12 games saw the Bulls finish 2019 on a wrong note with a 13-21 win-loss record.
Heading into the New Year, the Bulls were still in a wretched form as they lost their first five games of 2020 before ending the barren spell with a 108-99 win at Detroit Pistons. There was a little sign of improvements in the next nine games as the Bulls recorded five wins and four losses. Since then, the inconsistencies have resurfaced in the team again as they recorded three victories and 13 defeats in their last 16 games before the suspension of the season.
Key Performers on the Chicago Bulls roster so far this season
For the past three seasons, the Bulls’ insistence of putting their trust in young talents has seen the development of some players who have become integral members of the roster. Despite the Bulls’ struggles, these players have shone for the Bulls on multiple occasions.
The likes of Point Guard Zach LaVine, Power Forward Lauri Markkanen, and Center Wendell Carter Jr. have been influential for the Bulls, which is evident in their stats.
In terms of the stats, Zach LaVine has been a standout performer. This season, he has averaged 25.5 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, 4.2 assists per game, 1.5 steals per game and 3.4 turnovers per game in 60 games for Chicago Bulls.
Lauri Markkanen has also averaged 14.7 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game and 1.5 assists per game in 50 games.
Wendell Carter Jr. also has an average of 11.3 points per game, 9.4 rebounds per game, and 1.2 assists in 43 games.
Other players such as Point Guard Coby White, Power Forward Thaddeus Young, Small Forward Otto Porter Jr., and Shooting Guard Thomas Satoransky have also been good for the team.
What’s next for Chicago Bulls?
The Bulls will miss the playoffs this season if the season resumes as they are adrift off the playoff positions in the Eastern Conference. If the season recommences, they will look to end the season on a high and use the remaining games to assess the team’s development to prepare for next season.