After a horrendous start to the season, the Chicago Bulls have actually been playing competent basketball over the past couple of weeks. The Chicago Bulls improvement has come in a variety of areas including ball movement and their ability to stay competitive.
While they are currently on a two game win streak, they have also been competitive in most games they have played in. Losing by four to a young and upcoming Sacramento Kings team, then losing by two to the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers and finally losing by three to the always dangerous Los Angeles Clippers.
It has been nice to see such a drastic change in performance and attitude from this young Bulls team. Last year’s team wouldn’t have been competitive in half the games the Bulls have played in this season.
Zach LaVine has also been on another planet this season, which is why he’s a key piece in the Chicago Bulls improvement. Last year he took his first big step in becoming a real superstar in the league and this season, he has been nothing short of spectacular in the Bulls first fourteen games.
LaVine is averaging a modest 27 PPG, which is good for 5th in the league, while shooting 49% from the field and 38% from deep. LaVine has also made playmaking a priority this season and has brought his assist total to about five assists per game.
With the fourth pick in the 2021 NBA draft the Bulls took the 19 year old out of Florida State, Mr. Patrick Williams. He has been nothing but perfect for the Bulls this season, providing timely shot making and impressive defense that the Bulls have been desperately looking for.
There were a lot of people giving the Bulls a hard time for not taking other highly touted prospects in this year’s draft. Williams is currently averaging 10.2 PPG while shooting 48.5% from the field and 50% from deep.
The Bulls bench has also been a key in their newfound play style. The bench includes pieces such as Otto Porter Jr. who is having himself a nice little season averaging 12.5 PPG. Yes Porter Jr. is making more money than Bulls fans would like him to, however this is the first time since he has been on the Bulls where he is playing valuable minutes off the bench for this team.
Another key piece has been journeyman Garrett Temple, who was brought to Chicago off a one year deal back in November. For a one year, $4 Million deal, he hasn’t disappointed one bit so far. Temple is averaging 9.9 PPG to go along with some stellar defense.
Still Work To Do
While the Chicago Bulls improvement has shined as of late, there is still a lot of work to be done if this team wants to take that next step into contention. The teams biggest weaknesses are by far the defensive side of the ball and turnovers. The Bulls currently rank 28th in points allowed and are 10th worst in turnovers per game.
Getting Tomas Satoransky back from COVID-19 protocols should help in the turnover department, however, the defense still needs work, but the improvement from the beginning of the season to now has been a pleasure to watch thus far.
The Bulls currently sit at 6-8 which is good for 12th in the eastern conference. They play their next game Friday against the Charlotte Hornets, certainly a winnable game for this Bulls team.
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