Freeman Cebu Sports

Expect a Bull-run

NBA BUZZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

The Chicago Bulls will parade an upgraded lineup when the 2021-2022 NBA season begins, improving offensively and defensively. If things go well, they could make life difficult for the Eastern Conference big guns and should be in the running for a top four seeding in the post season.

A potential Bulls starting unit will have three All-Stars in Zach LaVine (SG), Nikola Vucevic (C)and DeMar DeRozan (PF). Lonzo Ball will man the point and sophomore Patrick Williams at small forward. LaVine, Vucevic and DeRozan can hold their own in individual matchups, even dominate.

Recently sent to Cleveland in a sign-and-trade, Lauri Markkanen, the team’s 2017 7th pick, was widely expected to be the Bulls’ cornerstone for a rebuild. He did well in his rookie season, making the All-Rookie team and hitting 100 3-pointers in just 41 games, making the feat faster than any player in NBA history.

He improved on his second year averaging an almost double-double with 18.7 points and 9 rebounds. Things went south after that because of injuries and the arrival of LaVine forced the big man to limited minutes.

With Markkanen gone, the Bulls got 5-year pro and 2020 Slam Dunk champion Derrick Jones, Jr. With him, their defense had improved. The 24-year old, 6-5 small forward ranked 4th in blocks among players standing below 6-7. Likewise, Ball, Williams and Alex Caruso are very good defenders.

In addition to the big 3 of LaVine, DeRozan and Vucevic, they still have Coby White (15ppg) for more offensive firepower. Don’t forget that Ball and Caruso can slash the restricted area and shoot from long range.

If they go healthy all the way, Brooklyn and Milwaukee still own the East but surely, Chicago will go all the way with their souped-up line for a Bull run and another shot at NBA glory which they last had 23 years ago.

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