When the Bulls come marching in
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. That was the moral of the story for Chicago Bulls fans all of last season. Many analyst are predicting to see a rematch of last year’s finals between Golden State and Cleveland, but with Cleveland taking home the trophy for the first time in over 50 years. But in order for Cleveland to get through to the Finals, they’ll have to battle with the Bulls again; something that King James and Co. have no problem doing. So let’s briefly look at how Chicago will be different this time around.
With the roster looking the same as before, with the exception of first-round draft pick Bobby Portis, one would expect to see the same results from last year. Not exactly. With the Mayor, also known as Fred Hoiberg, in town now, expect a much more offensively upbeat Bulls team. Yes, the Bulls will be marching in and out of stadiums similarly to how Steve Kerr ran in Phoenix and Golden State.
Look for the Bulls to finally utilize the hot shot – Doug McDermott, Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose will be attacking the lanes with many more fast breaks – and Joakim Noah will be throwing many more outlet passes. This modified West Coast system has proven to be a challenge to the Cavs as they faced teams like Golden State, OKC and the Clippers.
As for the defensive side of the Bulls, do not expect much of a difference from what Coach Thibs had in place. It’s basically engraved in each player’s mind now.
With upper management wanting to see the next coach use the bench more, expect to see more of players like E’twaun Moore and Tony Snell (both of whom showed a lot of potential in their short stints last year). Anticipate a lot more fresh legs when March and April come around, when the games count the most. Fresh legs were something that Bulls needed a lot more of last year despite all of the injuries and suspensions the Cavs faced.
As far as the regular season, I expect the Cavs and Bulls to seed 1 and 2, respectively. Cavs will improve to the 60-win club with the addition of Anderson Varejao back in the lineup and team chemistry being in place and the Bulls probably have an identical record to last year at 50-32.
In the playoffs WHEN the Bulls and Cavs meet, will the Bulls finally beat LeBron? Eh, we’ll see.
Christian Gray is a senior majoring in marketing with a focus in promotion and communications and a minor in economics. He is president of the Student Activities Board. When he’s not planning events or doing schoolwork, you’ll catch him watching something sports related (#KOBE) or vibing out to music. His career goal growing up was to be Batman. He won’t tell you if he was successful on that mission, but let’s be real – have you ever seen him and Batman in the same place before?