Before the start of last night’s bout at the United Center, the Chicago Bulls announced that All-Stars Zach Lavine and DeMar DeRozan would not suit up against the Milwaukee Bucks. After dropping eight of the last nine games, including five in a row, vibes were certainly low and expectations were set for a beating at the hands of Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Hand up – I was very wrong.
The Bulls rallied together and defeated the Bucks in overtime last night, thanks to exactly what Billy Donovan has been asking for all season: sharing and moving the ball. Eight different Bulls scored in the double digits last night, including all five starters. Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond recorded double-doubles thanks to dominating the boards. And Alex Caruso hit the shot of the night, a buzzer-beating three to tie the game at the end of regulation. Everything went the Bulls way in overtime and the United Center was absolute madness yet again.
Chicago Bulls: does last night’s win change the future plans?
As I was watching that game last night, I honestly had visions of this team competing for a playoff spot. The way that the ball continued to move and the team’s ability to find the open man was textbook movement. I have to at least wonder if, as good as Lavine and DeRozan are, this team is better off finding the trades to move them.
This could all be a pipe dream and an overreaction to one game at the end of November. But whether the return for potential trades is draft capital, young talent, or veteran leadership, the Bulls could start the process of constructing a full roster surrounding the plan to keep the ball moving without a full teardown and it could be lethal.