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Fact or Fiction: Chicago Bulls

Bulls
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The Chicago Bulls haven’t won a championship since 1998. Before they can get to another finals, they have to reach the playoffs first. The Bulls couldn’t get into the playoffs last season despite having the play-in tournament in their sights at times. In the end, they finished just 31-41 in Billy Donovan‘s first season as the head coach.

In this year’s draft, Chicago picked Ayo Dosunmo out of Illinois. He could end up being in the rotation but will have to impress the coaches to do so. He is sitting behind Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Coby White, and Alex Caruso. As for the team’s playoff chances, they may finally get in the dance after a huge offseason.

There are many statements being made about this year’s squad, but we’ve got you covered with our Fact or Fiction series. It features the biggest claims being made about the Bulls and gives you the answer with a decisive fact or fiction.

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The Bulls are the Most Improved Team

There were teams this offseason that improved but were already a playoff team. So, it was impossible to be the most improved team. The Miami Heat made the playoffs last year and landed Kyle Lowry and P.J. Tucker. The Los Angeles Lakers added Russell Westbrook after their early exit. The New York Knicks signed Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier to play alongside Julius Randle and RJ Barrett.

Then, there were teams like the Chicago Bulls, who weren’t great but had the opportunity to be the most improved team based on last year. The Bulls added significant depth to their roster. In addition to drafting Dosunmo, they signed Ball, Caruso, DeMar DeRozan, and Tony Bradley, who combined to average 50 points per game last season. That’s a lot of production that was picked up in the offseason. Miami’s offseason additions combined to average 28 points per game. Many people debate whether Miami or Chicago was most improved and it’s clear the Bulls were. However, that’s mainly because they had more room to improve than Miami did.

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Verdict: Fact, Chicago is Now a Playoff Contender

Patrick Williams will Break Out this Season

Patrick Williams is an intriguing talent because he has similar traits to Kawhi Leonard. However, he didn’t really flourish last season. Williams averaged less than 10 points and five rebounds per game. If he wasn’t able to break out last season, it’s hard to envision him doing so this season due to the roster. Williams will still get plenty of playing time, but he’ll be the last scoring option among the starting five. LaVine is obviously the best offensive player on the team. DeRozan, Ball, and Nikola Vucevic aren’t bad options either.

Verdict: Fiction, Too Much Talent Around Him to Truly Stand Out

The Bulls are Legit Threats in the East

While the Bulls are the most improved team going into the season, they still aren’t “legit” threats in the East. DeRozan and Ball were solid additions to the starting five but don’t compare to the top dogs. For example, Chicago’s big three (LaVine, Ball, DeRozan) averaged 64 points per game last season. The Brooklyn Nets’ big three (Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving) averaged a combined 79 points per game. That’s a 15-point gap between the two teams and we haven’t even considered Brooklyn’s improved bench yet.

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Chicago has to get past some checkpoints before they’re considered legit threats in the Eastern Conference. First, they need to reach the playoffs. Second, they need to get past the first round. Only then can Chicago set its mind on winning a title. Bulls fans will still be happy this season because their team should be in the playoffs at the season’s end, and that is progress.

Verdict: Fiction, They’re Not on the Same Level as Brooklyn, Milwaukee, and Miami


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Main Image Credit: 

Embed from Getty Images

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Tyronn Lue, NBA
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