Lonzo Ball’s return will propel the Bulls to a deeper playoff run next season

Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Lonzo Ball, Chicago Bulls (Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /

LaVar Ball named his son Lonzo Ball, but for the Chicago Bulls, they might have to rename him their secret weapon. After a disappointing first-round exit to the Milwaukee Bucks in last year’s playoffs, the Bulls look to come back next year with vengeance. Unfortunately, they are still waiting for the return of their swiss army knife starting point guard, Lonzo Ball.

Lonzo has been out since January after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to repair a slight meniscus tear. An injury that was only supposed to keep him out for 6-8 weeks ended up being a season-ending injury.

The Bulls were 27-12 and had a defensive rating as low as 107, which would rank Chicago top 5 in the league before Lonzo’s injury. They were also sitting amongst the top three seeds in the east. You would think at the rate they were heading, they may very well be contenders for a championship.

What did Lonzo Ball bring to the Chicago Bulls?

Lonzo brought something different to the Bulls, he played with a pace that most teams could not keep up with, controlled the offense efficiently, shot the three-ball tremendously well, and defended at a high level. Lonzo was slowly developing into one of the best two-way guards in the league.

Averaging 13 points per game, 5.1 assists per game, and 5.4 rebounds per game, while shooting a career-high 42% from three, talk about being a jack of all trades. He also took the pressure off of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. They were able to play off-ball and slash to the basket more effectively, something they lacked in the postseason.

In an interview with NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, DeMar stated, “Man, the excitement that he brings, he brings a different type of swagger to us when he plays. I’m pretty sure you can pinpoint that when he’s out there”. Basketball looked fun with Lonzo out on the court, it was as if he brought his Chino Hills play style to the Bulls.

When the postseason came around, it was evident that the Bulls missed Lonzo’s pace, defensive prowess, and intensity. They played a lot slower and relied more on one-on-one basketball to get a bucket and they were not as committed on the defensive side of the basketball. You may get away with that style of play in the regular season but come playoff time everything is amplified.

After facing several setbacks during his rehab process, Lonzo seems to finally start making progress. On ESPN2 during a summer league contest, Billy Donovan stated this on Lonzo, “Every day he seems to be improving. I think that the progress he has made has been steady”. With Lonzo’s return on the horizon, Bulls fans have much to look forward to. with a healthy Lonzo Ball, the Chicago Bulls can very well make a deep playoff run.

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