Bulls could contend for NBA title

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Wes Sanderson | Northern Star

The scene pre-game on the United Center court.

Davione Barrow, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – The last time the Chicago Bulls won an NBA championship was in 1998. Since then, a lot has changed within the league, but as of today, in 2021, the chances of a title in Chicago doesn’t seem like something out of the ordinary. 

In the 2020-21 NBA season, the Bulls finished 31-41 and eleventh place in the Eastern Conference. Along with the fact, All-Star guard Zach LaVine missed significant time towards the end of the season as the Bulls were pushing to make the play-in tournament. 

With a season full of injuries, along with players battling COVID-19, it’s hard to believe that the Bulls will be in a similar scenario this upcoming season.

This offseason, the Bulls have added four-time All-Star guard DeMar DeRozan, former second overall pick Lonzo Ball, guard Alex Caruso and forward Derrick Jones Jr., among others. The Bulls lost some key pieces, such as forward Thaddeus Young, who led the team in rebounding a season ago, as well as forward Lauri Markannen, who gave the team great size and perimeter shooting. 

The Eastern Conference has about four teams that could be considered to be powerhouses within the conference. Those teams would be the Brooklyn Nets, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks. All are teams that the Bulls could have a chance to compete with for the conference title and can beat to get to the NBA title. 

LaVine, DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic are all 20 points per game scorers. On top of that, Ball is one of the premier passers in the NBA. Having a guy like him on the roster allows him to facilitate and run the offense to get other’s shots and get them open. 

Second-year forward Patrick Williams also poses a real threat as he is looking to make a strong sophomore campaign with the team. Williams averaged 9.2 points, 1.4 assists and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 39% from the three-point line and 48.3% from the field. All of these numbers will increase slightly, but surely because in Williams’ role this season, he has more experience under his belt, along with playing with three different All-Stars will elevate his level of play tremendously. 

The Bulls lineup coming off the bench poses problems for the rest of the east. They have guard Coby White and Caruso at the forefront leading the second unit. 

Caruso, a former NBA champion, had a major impact off the bench for the Lakers despite not putting up gigantic numbers. He is a “glue” guy for the team. He holds everything, and everyone together with the hustle and high IQ plays he makes throughout the course of the game, which makes the Bulls even more of a contender, adding a piece of championship DNA. 

Bulls head coach Billy Donovan looks to turn around last year’s losing season and bring the Bulls back into the playoff picture. A former two-time national champion as a coach, Donovan is no stranger to performing at the biggest stage. Coming into this season having all the talent at his disposal, he will have the Bulls ready to go to war with whoever wherever when it gets down to the stretch. 

The 2021-22 NBA season will be one for the ages as the Bulls look to stampede their way back into the championship picture with new talent and experienced players.