WE MADE IT!
*Alexa, play Celebration*
The offseason is finally over, and basketball is back! The Chicago Bulls tip-off the 2019-20 campaign with Media Day later this afternoon. Then, tomorrow, the team will all take the court together for the start of training camp.
I know this offseason has been a grind, but thanks to any BN Bulls readers who have stuck through it with us! Now, the real fun begins.
- The single most important Bulls storyline we have to follow was shared in one of K.C. Johnson’s latest articles. Speaking with Lauri Markkanen on his expectations for the upcoming season, we learned a video of Jim Boylen and The Finnisher cannonballing into a lake together exists. If this is the type of tomfoolery Boylen participated in during his time abroad, my case for “The Adventures of Jim Boylen” just became even more sound.
- Focusing on the basketball side of things, Markkanen shared with Johnson his expectations for the upcoming season, fully aware of the weight sitting on his and Zach LaVine’s shoulders. Markkanen tells Johnson he isn’t “running” from the pressure, going on to reference his work in the weight room as an indication of that. If you ask me, Markkanen can improve his body and game all he wants, but his natural talent has always been there. Instead, I’m looking to see a change in mindset. I love looking at offseason photos of a chiseled Markkanen as much as the next guy, but, as the saying goes, actions speak louder than Instagram posts.
- While you follow the Media Day action with us on the interwebs, you can also watch the live coverage at NBC Sports Chicago.
- The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry outlined what he wants to see from the Bulls this season … and let’s just say it’s not the shortest of lists.
- K.C. Johnson also recently shared his season preview, and it’s worth a read. The article acts as a good refresher on where the Bulls currently stand, and you can see why there’s some optimism around this newly revamped team. Although, my biggest question isn’t regarding the players’ health or the starting point guard competition, it’s about whether Jim Boylen can coach a winning basketball team. We still don’t know much about Boylen, but we do know he likes his players “tough.” When you think about it, Boylen’s starting his first full year as head coach with a roster that is oozing with potential upside. For that reason, and I’ve said it from the beginning, I think we’ll get an idea early-on about whether this staff has what it takes.
- Look at how much this man is loved …
— HeelsUpdates (@HeelsUpdates) September 28, 2019
- Bulls.com Beat Reporter Sam Smith shares the Top-10 biggest questions facing the Bulls right now. I agree with everything Smith lays out here, but I do believe something about Jim Boylen needs to be found in the top-10. Some of his questions allude to Boylen’s influence, but as I pointed out above, my biggest question revolves around how this coaching staff can channel this young team’s talent.
- Bold, but I don’t hate it.
Unless it’s KD, PG, LBJ or Kawhi…I’d take Zach LaVine at that position. He is that good. Supreme skill set, shot creator (most important part), handle, athletic, smooth/crafty, aggressive etc. He has no weaknesses in his game. If you commit to building around him. #Hooper pic.twitter.com/GqXgvPDTJm
— Ball Don't Stop (@balldontstop) September 22, 2019
- Offensively, LaVine can manage to keep up with the best of them, but we can’t underestimate how important it will be for him to display an improvement on the defensive side of the ball this season. Ultimately, I think LaVine gets his first All-Star nod as long as he can play average on defense.
- I have so many questions.