The Scary Bucks and Celtics, the Bulls' Need for Shooting, LaVine Gives Back, and Other Bulls Bullets

Social Navigation


The Scary Bucks and Celtics, the Bulls’ Need for Shooting, LaVine Gives Back, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The phrase of this weekend: “Love makes you do crazy things.”

Not only did I have to comfort my significant other after her Bucks lost in Game 6 last night (yes, I live in a house divided), but I will also have to attend a country music concert this evening (which, technically, is my own fault because I bought her those tickets).

To be clear, I mean no disrespect to the country music lovers among us, it’s just never been my cup of tea. And, yet, I’ve had that tea poured down my throat for roughly seven years now. Curse you, heart and feelings!

•   Speaking of the Bucks, their matchup with the Celtics is 100 percent worthy of a do-or-die Game 7. No series has been a better presentation of physical and clutch basketball, and that reached a climax last night with dominant performances from Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jayson Tatum. The basketball lover in me can’t get enough of it, but the Bulls obsessor in me continues to sweat basketball-sized droplets. How the heck is anyone going to stop Antetokounmpo and Tatum when they’re at the peak of their powers? I’m sure some recency bias is at play here (particularly with Tatum), but it truly feels like these will be the two franchises to beat in the East for years to come. And I think it’s safe to say the Bulls don’t have the firepower to individually match what either of these two superstars can do.

•   Now, none of that is to say the Bulls should wave the white flag. Arturas Karnisovas can’t cower in fear and tank until he finds his own two-way juggernaut. We all know how long it can take for the lottery gods to answer your prayers, and this also isn’t the only way to build a truly competitive team. The Miami Heat are a strong example of that fact. They’ve found themselves in the Eastern Conference Finals – in large part – thanks to a cohesive roster with substantial depth.

•   Don’t get me wrong, Jimmy Butler’s skill set is extremely important, but I think most would put him a tier below guys like Antetokounmpo, Durant, Embiid, and (now) Tatum. Miami also has Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry who are capable of having their own big-time performances. In a lot of ways, this is how I envision Karnisovas trying to build moving forward. Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic may not consistently be placed on the superstar mantle (perhaps the hope is LaVine can get there), but we all know they are capable of looking like one of the NBA’s top talents on any given night.

•    In other words, it’s all about having a plethora of options when you don’t have a top-5 player on your roster. Karnisovas knows this, and I think it’s why we saw him build the team around three gifted offensive players and two gifted defensive players. He created a group whose whole was significantly greater than the sum of its parts. The theory isn’t a bad one, but it has a tremendously small margin of error. If one piece goes down, the rest tends to go down with it. On the other hand, for teams with a bonafide superstar, they almost always have a chance to win unless the piece that goes down is that superstar.

•   Health will be pivotal to the Bulls’ success moving forward, but Karnisovas can also surely stand to improve some of the team’s parts. Chicago’s need for reliable 3-point shooting has potentially surpassed the need for size in the frontcourt. While I certainly hope they find a way to also bolster their PF and C depth, it’s not like anyone in the league can stop someone like Antetokounmpo anyway. Instead, the Celtics have reminded us that one of the best ways to take down the Bucks is to hit your darn 3-pointers. Boston scored an absurd 60 points behind the arc in Game 2 compared to Milwaukee’s 9 points, and we saw another wide margin last night with Boston outscoring Milwaukee 51 to 27 from downtown. We all know that the Bucks’ defense allowed opponents to shoot the most 3-point attempts per game in the regular season, and you have to take advantage of that fact if you want to beat them.

•   Zach LaVine is that dude on and off the court.

•   LaVine has been involved with the deaf and hard of hearing community since his time in Minnesota. His work has flown under the radar, but he’s truly done a lot of it. I’ll drop some links below, if you’re interested.

•   SAY IT LOUDER FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK, KC!

•   If you say so.

•   What’s with the Knicks and former Bulls?

•   Tab with some fresh rankings!

•   I feel like we should all just start watching this team.



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.