When Arturas Karnisovas took over the Chicago Bulls last year, it felt like they might finally start getting things in the right direction. They hired Marc Eversley to be the general manager and Billy Donovan to be the head coach and off they went. It hasn’t been so easy so far this season but they wake up today above the playoff line in the Eastern Conference. There is going to be the little play-in like there was in the bubble last season but at least they could have a chance.
This is after a huge 120-100 Chicago Bulls victory over the Houston Rockets. They are now 14-16. That isn’t a magnificent record but the Eastern Conference is so top-heavy that they are right there in the playoff mix. There is no doubt that at minimum, they are very fun to watch. It is a young vibrant team that has a bright future if things go their way over the next few offseasons.
If they keep playing like this they won’t be in the lottery but they sure might be a more attractive free-agent destination. It is a shame that a team as world-famous as the Chicago Bulls isn’t a popular free agent destination but it is nobody’s fault but their own. It does feel now though that they are headed in the right direction.
The Chicago Bulls sit in an unfamiliar position today.
One key to the victory outside of any individual performances is their impressive third quarter. It is one of the nice quarters you will see anyone play all year long. They scored 46 points thanks to being 19-25 on field goals and 7-9 on threes. There were 11 assists. It may be a while before you see an offensive explosion in one quarter like that from the Bulls. There was a lot of great play from everyone to come together, play like a team, and put together a quarter like that.
Zach LaVine is having himself a monster year. He is having the best scoring month of any player in Bulls history not named Michael Jordan. He only had 21 points in this game against the Rockets and that is a low total for him. We are used to seeing him get anywhere from 30-40 but the team didn’t need that last night.
Coby White’s 24 points actually led every player on either team. There are some nice pieces on this team and they are well-coached. If they ever landed a superstar talent, they would become a championship contender, or at least you would think. Games like this against the Rockets really give you hope about what you may see with this team down the line.
How far can it go? They wake up in 8th place which is above the playoff line. As mentioned before, there will be a play-in with seeds 7-10 but the Bulls should be confident they can get in if that is what it comes down to. It has been a good team to watch and plenty of people are starting to see red again. Both teams that play in the United Center are exceeding expectations as both the Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks have been pretty good this year.
The more teams that are good in Chicago, the better. The Bulls might have one of the brighter futures of the teams playing in Chicago. This Rockets game is proof that things are turning in the right direction. There are going to be ups and downs as the season winds down but as long as they keep developing, this season will be a success.