Before the start of this year’s regular season, Chicago Bulls fans were hit with the unfortunate news that Lonzo Ball would miss at least a few months following his off-season knee surgery. Bulls fans were hopeful that Ball would be back in the lineup on opening day, as his court vision and elite perimeter defense were key components of last season’s hot start.
However, in spite of the bad news, fans in the Windy City remained optimistic about the team’s chances heading into the season. Unfortunately, optimism in Chicago has turned to skepticism from fans who are worried that last year’s return to the playoffs was not a return to relevance but an apparition instead.
The team is one game under .500 after 13 games and has not shown the defensive intensity or offensive consistency that helped them end a five-year playoff drought last season. The team’s three best players, DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vuevic, are all putting up solid numbers, but it has not translated into consistent winning.
The Chicago Bulls are off to a disappointing start. However, there is still plenty of basketball to be played and time to right the ship.
For a brief time, just after the All-Star break, the Chicago Bulls held the number one seed in the Eastern Conference last season. While they eventually dropped to the sixth seed before the start of the playoffs, they were one of the NBA’s feel-good stories all year. If the regular season ended today, the team would hold the seventh seed and be forced to participate in the play-in tournament.
The good news is the season is still young, and there is still time for the team to turn the season around. Let’s take a closer look at the areas the Chicago Bulls must improve upon in order to return to their winning ways.