5 overreactions to first two weeks of 2023-24 NBA season

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Maddie Schroeder/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat (Photo by Maddie Schroeder/Getty Images) /
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DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Overreaction #3: Time for Memphis and Chicago to detonate their rosters

Doom and gloom was the name of the game for fans of both the Memphis Grizzlies and Chicago Bulls at the start of the season. While the teams are struggling for very different reasons, neither fan base should panic…yet.

First, let’s get to the Grizzlies. No team took longer to secure its first victory this season than Memphis, a surprise considering they were one of the best teams in the Western Conference last year, an ascendant franchise.

Of course, the slow start came without Memphis’ best player, as superstar guard Ja Morant is suspended for the first 25 games of the season. It was always going to be a struggle without him on the court, a quest to stay afloat in the postseason picture until Morant can return – and hopefully stick – to the court.

In his absence, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Desmond Bane have performed like the superstars they need to be, but the team has been struggling down low after Steven Adams went down for the year before the season even started. Despite the disappointing start, the long-term outlook for Memphis is more rosy than that facing Chicago.

The Bulls held one of the all-time strangest players’ only meetings, doing so after the very first game of the season. That seemed like a sign of trouble, though coach Billy Donovan didn’t cop to as much when asked about it.

Chicago hasn’t looked much better since that meeting, still losing more games than they’ve won and finding themselves out of the postseason and play-in picture as of Election Day. So are the Miami Heat, for what that’s worth.

It’s unclear what the Chicago front office was expecting after bringing back last year’s lackadaisical core. There will always be a question as to what this team could’ve been if Lonzo Ball never suffered a significant injury, but that concern didn’t seem to play into Chicago standing pat during the offseason. It seemed to be more a belief that the talent was still there.

The Bulls are certainly more prone to blow it up than Memphis and could get some healthy returns if they decide to deal the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine. But Chicago stuck with this core during the summer and needs to give it more time before any big conclusions are made.