Over the last 15 years the Chicago Bulls have been in the playoffs a many times usually getting knocked out in the first round. For many reasons over that time I was unable to follow the games as closely as I’d have wanted to. That being said, I do remember exactly what I was doing the moment David Stern said, “With the first draft in the 2008 NBA Draft the Chicago Bulls select Derrick Rose.” For the first time in ten years I felt like the Bulls were headed back to the top with that pick! Sadly, that would not come to fruition and while Derrick is still playing he has not been a Bull since 2015.
During the 2021 offseason while in the middle of a pandemic and a lot of lost revenue due to not having fans in the stands the Reinsdorf family decided it was time for change at the top of the organization and relieved Gar Forman and John Paxson of their duties hiring Marc Eversley to take over the reigns as GM of the team. Without hesitation Eversley got to work bringing in Lonzo Ball, Nikola Vucevic, and DeMar DeRozan adding them to the one man offense of Zach LaVine. Since I had not been watching basketball too closely over the last 15 years I was immediately intrigued by all these moves after talking to a few friends last summer as the moves were being made to bring the team back to the top!
Many people felt that the Boston Celtics would be the better first round matchup for the Bulls. However, they were handed the Milwaukee Bucks. Unfortunately, due to a team-wide COVID outbreak in December and a number of injuries to key players including Lonzo Ball who is done for the season with a knee injury the Bulls are expected to get knocked out after playing the Bucks during this first round series. All said, I think they Bulls did put up a good fight in Game 1 and I believe they will continue to put up a good fight but they are short defensively… and would be even if Lonzo Ball were healthy.
On the face of it many Chicago sports fans might say that that the 2021-2022 Bulls are one year away from winning it all. For me that is a bit on the optimistic side considering LaVine is a free agent this summer. Eversley’s first priority this summer is keeping the offensive band together by signing LaVine as well as extending Vucevic and DeRozan. At the same time they need to sign the best defensive player(s) available too, maybe that would be Jalen Brunson and/or Miles Bridges.
With that… enjoy the playoff run while it lasts!