1. Team defense
Not only were the two Chicago Bulls defensive stopper guards the only reason why this team was good on that end of the floor this season. Combo guard Shaquille Harrison actually saw some of his more significant defensive numbers regress this season compared to last. Harrison’s defensive rating is up to 106, but his number of defensive win shares is down.
Point guard Kris Dunn will be out for the remainder of the regular season as he’s dealing with a knee injury. This might also be the final season that Dunn played in a Bulls uniform as he’s heading off to be a restricted free agent this summer. Granted there’s a better chance that the Bulls re-sign him compared to shooting guard Denzel Valentine.
The Bulls are going to miss Dunn on the defensive end of the floor. He was one of the NBA’s steal leaders (2.0 per game) before going down with this season-ending knee injury and still is at the top in steal rate (3.8 percent). But this did help the Bulls translate to a breakthrough as a team on defense under Boylen’s direction this season.
Ranking 14th in the NBA in defensive rating (109.8) and points allowed per game (110.0) shows that the Bulls are improving on that end of the floor. But their slower pace (ranking 16th in the NBA) also helps them to allow less points per game. They rank first in the NBA in total team steals, which helps to make up for the fact that they rank dead last in total defensive rebounds.