Grading the Bulls from the top-down at the quarter mark

Billy Donovan, Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Billy Donovan, Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls are contenders. After the first 22 games of the season, the Bulls are 14-8. They rank first in the division, second in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the NBA. Just over a year ago, the Bulls were entering the lottery for the fourth straight year. Now, they are a team that looks like a lock for the playoffs. The Bulls feel complete. Here are my grades for how each aspect of the Bulls organization has performed.

Chicago Bulls Management: A+

Bulls fans bow down to Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley (AKME). They have done a perfect job shaping the roster. They recognized that Zach LaVine is a superstar in this league, built around him, and got rid of dead weight. Trading for Nikola Vucevic at the deadline was huge. Vooch was the perfect shooting big man to trade for to pair along with Zach.

During the offseason, they had three of the most impactful signings in the NBA. Alex Caruso and Lonzo Ball are among the best guard defenders in the NBA. At this pace, they will both make all-defensive teams. Lastly, the Bulls signed DeMar DeRozan. Analysts called him washed. But, DeMar is playing the best basketball of his career. He is averaging over 25 points per game and is a lock to make the all-star team.

Chicago Bulls Coaching: A

After years of bad coaching, AKME hired Billy Donovan. Donovan is showing he is an elite coach in the NBA. The Bulls’ system works perfectly due to their small-ball lineups that can shoot and move the ball. The Bulls rank top 10 in both offensive and defensive rating and Donovan deserves a lot of credit.

Chicago Bulls Starting Lineup: A+

The Bulls have exactly what they need in their starting lineup. They have a two-way facilitator in Lonzo Ball. They have two of the best isolation players in basketball in LaVine in DeRozan. They have the shooting big man who is a great passer in Vucevic. The lineup is complete with the energy man in Javonte Green. The Bulls starting five can compete with any team. This is the type of lineup that should appear in the NBA finals.

Chicago Bulls Bench: B

Most Bulls fans can agree that the bench is the weakest part of the team. The Bulls bench ranks 28th in scoring in the NBA. However, Coby White looks to get the bench scoring back on track. Coby is fresh off of injury and has had games where he has made a significant impact off the bench. His role is a scorer and he will look to find his stroke throughout the season.

Next. Studs, duds, from Bulls win over the Hornets. dark

Caruso is the defensive spark off the bench. Caruso leads the league in steals and is usually in the game in the final minutes. Ayo Dosonmu and Derrick Jones Jr. are the last two players in the Bulls’ rotation that come off the bench. Both players are energy plugs who can make a highlight play. The bench is strong, but Bulls fans are looking to White to be the Tyler Herro-esque. Someone who can come in and score the basketball at all times.

The Bulls play the New York Knicks on Dec. 2. The Bulls have split games with the Knicks in the two games they have played this season. Go Bulls!