Playoff results should give Chicago Bulls hope

Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls
Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls / Patrick McDermott/GettyImages

The Chicago Bulls may not be in the NBA playoffs, but what they are seeing should give them hope. 

The final four teams are the Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Minnesota Timberwolves and Dallas Mavericks, as we see a changing of the guard, with the next generation of superstars taking over the league. 

More importantly, the Bulls were a combined 5-6 against these teams this season, so it’s not like they are a million miles away from being one of them. 

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The Bulls went 3-1 against the Pacers with two blowouts and beat the Timberwolves twice in two meetings. They dropped their five games against the Mavs and Celtics, but there is reason for optimism even as a lot of fans think the Bulls should rebuild. 

The NBA has parity 

The league will see its sixth different champion in as many years, so the NBA finally has the parity it’s been chasing. 

It wasn’t long ago that Indiana and Minnesota were mediocre and/or bad, so it isn’t impossible to turn things around quickly with the right moves. 

The Chicago Bulls have to nail this offseason and stay healthy 

It’s not hard to imagine a veteran team like the Bulls making a Knicks-like run next season if everything breaks their way. 

It starts by having a productive offseason in the draft, trades and free agency, as they do need an influx of young talent, but also some players who can help them win right away if they truly want to make another run at the playoffs. 

But the most important thing will be health, as it’s not hard to imagine a Bulls team with a healthy Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, Coby White and Nikola Vucevic being competitive in the Eastern Conference. The problem is that it’s hard to imagine all of them staying healthy. 

While the Bulls may be past the point of needing a rebuild, it’s hard to look at the Pacers in the ECF (a team that the Bulls smoked twice this year) and not think the Bulls could be there next year if everything went right. 

Reality may prove to be a much different story.