I’ll be on the road for about six hours, which is extremely unfortunate news considering it’s the first football Sunday of the year. Do you think I can convince my girlfriend to do her best Scott Hanson impression and give me the Redzone play-by-play?
Can’t hurt to ask!
- I took to the Twitterverse to poll Bulls fans on their expectations for the upcoming season. Among the 1,240 folks who participated in the online survey, 57.2 percent picked the team to, once again, evade the Play-In Tournament and finish between the 4-6 seeds in the Eastern Conference. The second-highest percentage of fans (28.7) picked the team to finish between 7-9, while the third-highest percentage (12.8%) chose 1-3. You can view the full results below:
- Considering I sent out this poll from an account primarily followed by hardcore Bulls fans, I probably shouldn’t be surprised by the overall sense of optimism. Still, I just can’t have this team finishing in that 4-6 range as of now, especially after all the improvements we’ve seen from their close competition this season. Whether it be Donovan Mitchell to Cleveland, Dejounte Murray to Atlanta, or Kevin Durant back to Brooklyn, those are three teams who finished behind Chicago last year that could very well surge past them in the coming months. Not to mention, Lonzo Ball’s injury looms, and this squad isn’t going to be its most competitive self until that’s figured out.
- Now, do I think the Bulls are capable of another finish inside the 4-6 range? Sure! If health is on their side and they receive the kind of boost they seem to expect from Patrick Williams, this team could replicate the first-half success we saw last year. The problem is that I simply can’t believe we’re going to get that team until I actually see it on the court. The lack of real offseason roster improvements makes it feel as if the group we saw in the second half of last year could also pop up somewhat easily, which I think we can all agree is a scary thought.
- So, yeah, I don’t want to be a Debby Downer and tell the majority of fans not to head into this season expecting better production from this team. You 100 percent have the right to be excited about the Bulls after their first winning season since before the Three-Alphas experiment. But I also hate being set up for disappointment, so I’m just going to force myself to enter this year anticipating a slight drop-off. That way I can be even more excited when they rise back up to the No. 1 seed and beat the Greek Freak in the Eastern Conference Finals! Oh, crap. I already screwed up!
- AC’s overseas journey continues.
- Caruso spoke with a french publication about his European journey thus far and the upcoming season. The defensive stopper expressed plenty of confidence in what the Bulls have brewing, and you can check out that article here (heads up … it’s all in french).
- Goran Dragic showed some respect for his new central division foe. Maybe Arturas Karnisovas told him to start the recruiting effort!
- As EuroBasket 2022 continues, Finland native and former-Bull Lauri Markkanen continues to look like a dominant force. I know this is a completely different stage and the competition isn’t nearly the same, but this is the kind of confidence I wish we saw more of from The Finnisher in Chicago.
- Phoenix front office leader James Jones reportedly told the Arizona Republic that the Deandre Ayton drama is completely behind the two sides. I’m sorry, but I refuse to believe that. While thing may have cooled off for now, I can see old tension start to arise the moment life gets hard for the Suns. Ayton, in particular, has all the right in the world to feel slighted after the organization threw around his name in the trade market and made him sign an offer sheet with the Pacers. So, if Ayton ends up back in trade talks, my jaw won’t be on the floor (I just hope those talks don’t send him to the East).
- So about that dome …
- So. Many. Fun. Prospects.