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DeMar DeRozan Has Just One Goal for the Bulls This Season

Chicago Bulls

Every team says it, but only a select few can mean it. And, for the first time in nearly a decade, the Chicago Bulls can mean it.

DeMar DeRozan joined NBA Today’s Malika Andrews for a conversation about the Bulls breakout season, one that currently has them sitting ahead of the Milwaukee Bucks and Brooklyn Nets for the East’s top seed. When asked how high DeRozan thought the Bulls could climb this season, he couldn’t have sounded more confident.

“The goal is the championship,” DeRozan said. “We’re never going to cut ourselves short. It’s an opportunity we can take advantage of. We don’t take it lightly. We understand what’s at stake. We respect all the team, the top of the conference, everything, but we’re going to go out there and compete every single night. We’re not going to cut ourselves short, and we feel like we can play with everybody. And the goal is to compete for a championship.

A claim that would be met this offseason with a “hold your horses” is now met with a “why the heck not?” While a been-there-done-that team like the Milwaukee Bucks and a superstar-stuffed roster like the Brooklyn Nets might still feel like the Finals front-runners, the fact of the matter is that neither currently leads the pack. The Bulls hold the NBA’s 4th-best winning percentage, and this marks the latest into a season the organization has held the No. 1 seed since the 2011-12 season, per Andrews.

The Bulls not only have to be included in any Finals conversation, but they have undoubtedly earned the right. The team holds the 6th-best Net Rating, and they have the only top-10 scoring duo in the NBA. Whether it be two victories over the Brooklyn, coming out on top of their Western Conference road trip, or holding the NBA’s longest active winning streak of eight games, Chicago has proven time and again this season that their success is no fluke.

I mean, FiveThirtyEight’s ELO Forcast gives the Bulls a 97 percent chance to reach the playoffs, the best in the East. So it’s not about whether or not the Bulls can take the next step anymore, it’s about how many steps they can take. As DeRozan notes, Chicago doesn’t know that number yet, but they know not to put a limit on it.

Make sure to check out DeRozan’s full interview with ESPN below:



Author: Elias Schuster

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