After a season of turmoil and controversy, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the Chicago Bulls rebuild.
The Chicago Bulls are quietly becoming one the best offensive teams in the league. The front office made a bold move to improve the roster at the trade deadline, and their confidence in new acquisition Otto Porter Jr. has already paid dividends. Chicago is 6-2 in games Porter has played, after a rough 12-42 start to the season.
This is no fluke either, considering two of those wins were double digit victories against the playoff-bound Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets.
A large increase in rebounding and assist percentages also indicate the team is now developing a strong chemistry, while coach Jim Boylen has finally figured out how to properly maximize the team’s strengths.
Boylen received a lot of criticism for attempting to implement a grit-and-grind playstyle that just didn’t fit this current roster, but has since altered his scheme to allow the team to play more relaxed. It seems all that time spent conditioning paid off in the end, as it helped propel the Bulls to a four overtime victory over Atlanta on Friday night.
Their newfound success can also be attributed to the team’s development on the offensive side of the court. After posting the worst offensive rating in the league before the All-Star Break, the Bulls now hold an impressive 115.1 rating since the Porter trade. This would be the second highest in the league if extrapolated across the entire season (behind only Golden State).
Likewise, the Chicago Bulls now hold a 58.5 true shooting percentage and 54.3 effective field goal percentage that would rank top three in the league, after a bottom five start in both categories. Most telling of all, however, is their increase in pace. After starting the season with the 21st highest pace in the league, the Chicago Bulls have upped the tempo and are now solidly the 11th fastest team.
Let’s take an inside look on how much the presence of Porter and the new coaching approach have helped inspire a sense confidence in the locker room, curated by the official Chicago Bulls social media team:
With twelve of the remaining eighteen games on the Chicago Bulls schedule coming against playoff-contending teams, we will get an extended look at just how close this team is close to competing.
The Chicago Bulls have to be happy with how things are going of late. Even with the loss to the Hawks on March 3, this team is still moving in the right direction. The month of February ended in successful fashion.