The Chemistry Is Palpable, Boylen's Got a Point, Carter Jr.'s Potential, and Other Bulls Bullets

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The Chemistry Is Palpable, Boylen’s Got a Point, Carter Jr.’s Potential, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

No, you’re still salty about how the Packers won last night.

Ugh, let’s talk some basketball to get my mind off it.

  • As a team this preseason, the Bulls’ chemistry has looked better than it has in years, and Zach LaVine can feel it.

  • With health on their side (knocks on wood), the Bulls were finally able to play LaVine, Otto Porter, Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. for the first time together on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors – a major step in the right direction. While Carter Jr. had his rust, the chemistry has been noticeably building among the rest of the team. During the three games where starters have been active, the team has racked up an average of 29.3 assists per game (last season the team averaged 21.9 assists per game).
  • It’s worth noting a big 38-assist performance against the Pelicans helped spark that number, but still, over those three games, the Bulls have pretty well exceeded last year’s assist average.
  • Role players like Otto Porter and Tomas Satoransky have also clearly made a difference in the chemistry department so far. Both have a strong way of quietly stacking the stat sheet, by either pulling down a key rebound, dishing out the basketball, or keeping a possession alive. Over his last two games, Porter had a +12 and +22, respectively. Against the Pelicans, he grabbed seven rebounds with eight assists, while in the game against the Raptors he grabbed six rebounds and added three blocks. As for Satoransky, he’s +7 and +20 in these past two games, respectively. I like what I’m seeing.
  • Um, Jim Boylen sounds like he knows what he’s talking about again …

  • NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson offered up some of his preseason observations ahead of this Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. Good stuff, but I’m especially smashing the RT button on what he had to say about Lauri Markkanen. I’m worried all the hype around guys like LaVine and White might push The Finnisher aside. I know that sounds crazy, but I think the coaching staff might be more focused on getting their team acclimated than about getting Markkanen the basketball. Johnson mentions that over half of Markkanen’s shots have come from three-point range this preseason. The Bulls need to start using his entire skill set, allowing him to handle the basketball, drive toward the hoop, and, simply, work in motion.
  • Zach LaVine’s comments on shooting the mid-range sparked a conversation on ESPN’s The Jump. Oh, and Kevin Durant weighed in.

  • Honestly, I totally see where he’s coming from, but also LaVine has been showcasing his silky smooth three-pointer this preseason (57.9 percent from downtown) … so keep shooting those too, please.
  • Bleacher Report chose one player to get excited about on each NBA team. Can you guess who they picked for the Bulls?  Spoiler Alert: It’s Wendell Carter Jr. According to Jonathan Wasserman, Carter Jr. is the player who unlocks this team’s full potential, and I can’t say I disagree with him. I still think this team goes as far as Markkanen and LaVine take them, but a fully healthy, confident Carter Jr. adds another level to what this team can do night in and night out.
  • Also, keep doing this.

  • The Bulls backcourt is about to get even more crowded. Shaquille Harrison is back from a hamstring injury and practiced fully yesterday. It’ll be interesting to see if Boylen decides to make room for him in this rotation.

  • Me too, Zach. Me too.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.