Chicago Bulls: 4 things to know going into regular season

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Antonio Blakeney Chicago Bulls
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

4: Antonio Blakeney is the X-Factor off the bench

I am a huge Bobby Portis fan. First and foremost, he is going to be the Bulls’ sixth man. He might even find himself up there for Sixth Man of the Year when it’s all said and done next spring. But, aside from Portis, the X-Factor off the bench is none other than Antonio Blakeney.

For the Bulls to have another scorer off the bench — and maybe the potential to be an even better scorer than any of the starters — is an enormous luxury. I know what I just said is bold, but Blakeney can fill it up on any given night. That’s what he does. He is a pure scorer and he’s only now coming into his first full season as a pro.

Blakeney has already flashed in the preseason, scoring in double digits (15 and 21) in two out of three games. Typically, teams have their specialists off the bench. You need a defensive guy. YOu need someone who can distribute. You need a spark on offense. Blakeney is the offensive firepower the Bulls will need off the bench, and he could see significant minutes.

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Chicago didn’t have anybody like him last year. They haven’t had a pure scorer like Blakeney, coming off the bench, in a while. They have one now, and if Blakeney can consistently give the Bulls points, their bench unit is going to be much-improved in just one year.