So Much Change in One Year, Lauri Markkanen's Confidence, Missing a Hometown Kid, and Other Bulls Bullets | Bleacher Nation

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So Much Change in One Year, Lauri Markkanen’s Confidence, Missing a Hometown Kid, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I’m not a huge pumpkin spice guy. I think half of the reasoning is flavor and half is just not wanting to give my girlfriend the satisfaction.

With that said, my girlfriend did order some pumpkin spice Keurig Cups … and (shhhh) they’re dope. I like to drink black coffee, so having only the flavoring in there with no cream and sugar has me coming around to the whole PS thing. I still want to pretend like I’m not a fan, though, so let’s hope the girlfriend doesn’t read bullets today.

•   One year ago today, the Chicago Bulls were in the midst of preseason training camp. The boys “battled” as head coach Jim Boylen constantly reminded them of the team name that sat across their chest. The true recipe for success. Fans bought into some of the hype, at least around guys like Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine. One lived up to the expectations. The other? Not so much. Fast forward a year and the Bulls are once again in training camp, except this time it’s while the NBA Finals are wrapping up in Orlando, Flordia. Huh? If you told me one year ago that the Bulls would only play 65 games and the NBA would experience a four-month-long hiatus due to a pandemic … well, I’d probably believe you, but I’d still be super shocked!

•   On October 3rd, 2019, we knew the Bulls season would start in 12 days. Now, all we know is that the season will not start until at least Christmas Day (and it’s likely to stretch relatively far past that date). It’s just crazy to think about how much has changed and about how much unknown still lurks. I mean, who the hell knows the next time we’ll see this group together? I’m glad we’ll still have the draft and free agency to talk about over here at BN Bulls, but it’s weird to sit in October with no Bulls basketball on the calendar.

•   That looks way too easy …

•   ICYMI: Markkanen spoke with reporters last week about his newfound confidence, as well as his upcoming contract extension negotiations. I think it’s a bit hard to predict exactly what will happen on the contract front (he’s coming off a tough season, but the new front office really seems to like him), but I think it’s more than fair to predict a quality bounce-back season for The Finnisher. If anyone can give Markkanen the confidence boost he needs, it’s a head coach with experience in player development and experience in putting players in a position to succeed. In other words, it’s Billy Donovan.

•   Chicago is well represented in the NBA Finals.

•   I can’t wait for the Bulls to have another OG as a true part of the rotation. Whether it’s someone like Nunn or Davis (*cough* preferably Davis *cough*), having a hometown kid succeed is always such a fun storyline. Speaking of which, do we think it’s more or less likely Davis comes to Chicago if the Lakers win the Finals? Don’t get me wrong, I think the likelihood is still .002%, but I’m just curious to know how a ring impacts his mindset. Does it create more loyalty to LA or does it make him feel like he gave the franchise what it needed? In general, that conversation about how a ring impacts a player’s psyche is fascinating.

•   I HATE injuries in the Finals. I’m not saying the Lakers wouldn’t have run away with this one if Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic were at full health, but the question will never not be there.

•   Professor Thad.

•   You do you, Denzel.

Author: Elias Schuster

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