The Chicago Bulls finished this season as the 9th seed in the East, losing their play-in game against the Miami Heat after finishing the regular season just 40-42. The team was disappointing this year, especially after a solid 2021-22 season, going 46-36 and nabbing the 6th seed.
Despite their worse performance this season, there are still some positives. The team showed some success late in the season, turning up their play after the all-star break. Chicago went 14-9 in those games, and showed the potential that Bulls fans had hoped for throughout the season.
The Chicago Bulls had a disappointing year this season, and they need these three players to outperform to move up in the East.
The Bulls roster underwent some changes, including the addition of Patrick Beverley which led to Patrick Williams being benched, and these changes ended up helping the team tremendously. Williams seemed much more relaxed coming off the bench, and his offensive efficiency improved while upping his defensive intensity. His per 36 minutes stats have gone up, as well as his shooting percentages (50/45.3/78.9 off the bench vs. 45.6/40.3/87.2 as a starter). Williams also made a transition to more of a small forward role, which the Bulls should continue in the upcoming season. The Paw had always been an undersized power forward, but he showed more promise at the 3.
Other players made an impact this season including All-Defensive First Team guard Alex Caruso, as well as consistent play from bigger names like Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan. As the Chicago Bulls attempt to move up the ranks, they should look internally at their current roster, as well as their competition in the Eastern Conference.
I can’t remember a time in recent memory when the East has had as much parity as it does right now. This is shown by the Miami Heat, who have advanced to the NBA Finals as an 8 seed. The reality is that nearly every Eastern Conference team has a chance at the playoffs, and a trip to the NBA Finals is completely up for grabs. Not only are most rosters of similar strength, but so many stars are falling victim to injuries that any team has a chance with a little bit of luck. The Bulls are in a spot where they could reach this point if things go their way and certain players make developments during the season.
This is not to say that the Bulls should keep the same roster. Chicago must stop preaching the idea of continuity, but it is conceivable to think that the Bulls could have something good if they add a few more pieces, and these 3 current Bulls make strides and play to their strengths.