It’s been a reinvigorated season for the NBA this year, especially as we celebrate its 75th anniversary. You might have seen that, with the incorporation of the diamond logo throughout many promotions and the various dedications on the NBA uniforms.
But it’s not all just fancy new emblems; we’ve seen teams reinvigorated, too, proving that it’s not the usual squads vying for the top spot in the championship. In particular, the Chicago Bulls are hoping that this season could be theirs.
Bouncing Back to Normal
Global pandemics can wreak havoc on sports. Long periods of lockdown had a big impact on the players, both mentally and physically. And, of course, all the fans who were used to regular games now had nothing but re-runs to watch.
Now, for the first time since the 2018-2019 season, the NBA is playing its schedule in full. Obviously, due to Covid, there are still restrictions in place, especially with player vaccines. Despite all these new mandates in place, this season has been almost back to normal. There haven’t been so many lengthy layoffs with players suffering from Covid or having to isolate, and the competition has been fierce, which has made for some very entertaining matches.
The Year of the Bulls?
We all know that the 90s was a huge decade for the Chicago Bulls. They won six NBA championships, and Michael Jordon was fast becoming the face of basketball, bringing the sport’s popularity to fans all over the world.
They set records, such as winning 72 games during the ’96-’96 season, which lasted until 2015-16 when the Golden State Warriors took the accolade.
But at the end of the decade, things weren’t as glorious as they once were. The noughties weren’t the best era for the Bulls as they struggled to get back to the status they had. Ten years of grafting through the NBA, followed by subsequent injuries and departures, and the Bulls have never been the same since.
Yet perhaps a global pandemic has actually been a good thing for the Bulls as this season could be the one that finally sees their luck turn around, and they get their time back in the limelight.
Mission Rebuild is a Success
In the summer of 2021, the Bulls decided to rebuild their squad. And it’s been a solid construction, to say the least. Take Lonzo Ball, for example, who was the second overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft as part of the Lakers’ selection, before spending some time with the New Orleans Pelicans. The Bulls also managed to get NBA champion Alex Caruso as a free agent and four-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan as part of an exchange for Thaddeus Young and Al-Farouq Aminu.
As the season kicked off, the Bulls have displayed some impressive feats, such as a 17-9 record with a new team that’s gelling well. That includes a trio of:
- Lonzo Ball – this young player is now getting his time to shine. It was always going to be a battle trying to get in the first squad at the LA Lakers, but his time at the Pelicans showed that he was a talent in the making and just needed to find the right squad. And with the points and assists he’s made in just a few matches, he should be able to carve out a career at the Chicago Bulls.
- Zach LaVine – traded to Chicago in 2017, with an impressive dunking history – in fact, he’s the fourth NBA player ever to win consecutive dunk contests.In the first three games he ever played for the Bulls, he scored at least 30 points, reaching the same heights as Michael Jordon and Bob Love. And over the years, this has just got better as he improved on his shooting efficiency. Throw him on the court with Ball and DeRozan, and you can see why the Bulls are hot to trot this season. It’s also no wonder people are placing their bets, such as on betoclock.com, for the Bulls to be top of the rankings this season.
- DeMar DeRozan – A four-time NBA All-Store and two-time All-NBA Team member. It sounds like someone you’d want on your team, right? Thankfully that’s exactly what the Bulls have – a player who still has the passion, vigor, and health combined with the right amount of experience. He’s slotted well into the team, and it shows.
This season could be it for the Chicago Bulls. They’ve rebuilt their squad with the right combination of players, and it fits well within the team’s LaVine era. Experience, youth, and a new head coach have seen the team build themselves back up. So it won’t be a surprise if it’s the start of a new decade of wonder for the Bulls.