2019-20 NBA Team Preview Series: Chicago Bulls
(Photo: Mike DiNovo, USA TODAY Sports)
The 2019-2020 NBA season starts October 22nd and to get you ready for tip-off, Off the Glass is previewing all 30 teams. Today we look at the Chicago Bulls.
2018-2019 Record: 22-60, 4th in the Central Division.
Season Recap: It was a tough season for the Chicago Bulls. They fired their coach, Fred Hoiberg, 24 games into the season and replaced him with Jim Boylen. Boylen won his first game as coach of the club, but the second game was a 56-point blowout that inspired some of the Bulls players to mutiny against their new coach and refuse to practice. Despite that kind of turmoil throughout the season, the Bulls made a great trade in acquiring Otto Porter from the Wizards and put together stretches of inspired basketball. The Bulls were 7-8 with Porter in the lineup.
Key Losses: Robin Lopez, C; JaKarr Sampson, F; Wayne Selden, G; Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
Key Additions: Thaddeus Young, F; Tomas Satoransky, G/F;
Preview: The Bulls had bad luck with injuries last season and hope to be at full strength with their roster. Adding two solid rotation players in Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky is huge for the Bulls. They boast a lineup with prized bigs Wendell Carter and Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter and Zach LaVine on the wing, and a rookie point guard in Coby White. Those 7 are a good start to a team although most of the talent is not proven, the Bulls have to feel good about where they are in terms of a rebuild. This season is an important one for the team from Chicago. If they can keep their team healthy, this Bulls team should be much improved compared to the past two seasons. They have to be more efficient on the offensive end, they were ranked 27th according to Offensive Rating and their defense was not much better with the 25th ranking for Defensive Rating. Porter, Young, and Satoransky should help the defense and if they can get more than 44 games from Carter, the Bulls should show improvement on the defensive end. Offensively, having Markkanen healthy could solve some of those issues, but the Bulls are going to need a big season from LaVine if they hope to score the ball more consistently.
Player to Watch: Lauri Markkanen
Team X-Factor: Health
Worst Case Scenario: The Bulls have injuries and fall into a horrible stretch of losses culminating in another mutiny and Boylen being fired and replaced by random assistant coach. Everyone makes fun of the Bulls Leadership Council and everyone calls for the firing of Gar Forman, an annual Bulls tradition.
Best Case Scenario: The young guys stay healthy and the Bulls are able to be the Sacramento Kings of the East, the young up and coming squad that is fun to watch and is staying close to the playoff picture. Markkanen shows signs of becoming the next Dirk and all is right in the Windy City.
Actual 2019-2020 Prediction: 33-49, 4th Central Division