After a subpar start to the season, the Chicago Bulls may have their starting guard, Lonzo Ball back sooner than they thought. The Bulls are currently 9-11 and 11th in the Eastern Conference, one spot out of the play-in. Garnering a significantly worst record than what they started with last season and it all points to one truth, the Bulls desperately miss Lonzo Ball.
Ball averaged 13 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 5.1 assists last season but suffered a meniscus injury that lingered longer than expected. After showing signs of improvement and eyeing a return in the preseason, a setback derailed Lonzo’s rehab process. Which resulted in him undergoing another arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, ultimately pushing back his return significantly.
Last season the Bulls got out to a rocket start with Lonzo Ball at the helm. His presence helped the Bulls defensively and allowed DeRozan and LaVine an opportunity to play without the ball. Although Ayo Dosunmu is doing what he can to fill Lonzo’s void, it is evident that the Bulls are in desperate need of a playmaker.
Dosunmu is averaging just under three assists a game and DeRozan is leading the Bulls with 4.6 assists, which is where the Bulls’ problems lie. Last season while Lonzo was healthy, DeRozan and LaVine were able to focus on solely scoring.
Lonzo Ball is the key for the Chicago Bulls to find success this season.
Having a guard that can take the burden off your key players is pivotal for a team’s success. Without Lonzo, DeRozan and LaVine now have to not only focus on scoring but on creating for their teammates as well, which in turn places more of a toll on each player. Fortunately for the Bulls, the wait for Lonzo’s return is almost done.
According to Bulls.com writer Sam Smith, here’s what he had to say on Lonzo’s potential return.
"“Christmas miracle? I’d hold off on that. I’ll say to start I have no idea, and based on previous experience I’d have to say no one who says they have an idea has an idea. Because last January’s surgery came with a two-month return to playing. So they don’t know. The general word around the Bulls is he might be able to play in January, maybe by the All-Star break,”"
With the All-Star break being just two months away it finally gives the Bulls a timetable on when they could have their starting point guard back. Just in time to turn the season around, regardless, Lonzo’s return will be vital to the Bulls’ success.