A Chaotic Eastern Conference, DeRozan Cracks Top-3 Plays, LaVine's Dunk, and Other Bulls Bullets

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A Chaotic Eastern Conference, DeRozan Cracks Top-3 Plays, LaVine’s Dunk, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I was on the road for the first official NFL Sunday of the year last week, so my plan for today is simple: Sit in front of the television and eat cheesy snacks until I become one with my couch.

I wrote these bullets fully reclined, so we’re off to a good start!

  • The more I look at the Eastern Conference, the more chaos I see. I mean, when was the last time the East was this competitive from top to bottom? The Bucks, Celtics, 76ers, and Heat have all proven they are capable of a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Then, we have a pretty impressive middle tier that starts with the Nets and includes recently-upgraded rosters like the Cavaliers and Hawks. The drop-off to the next level might be stark, but the Knicks, Wizards, and Hornets still have enough star power to give a good team a run for their money on almost any night. Heck, even the Pistons and Magic, who are in the middle of a youthful rebuild, shouldn’t be taken lightly with rising talent like Cade Cunningham and Paolo Banchero in the mix.
  • As for the Chicago Bulls, I think it’s fair to say they sit somewhere in that middle section, which is arguably the most dangerous position to be in. While they have the upside to finish at the top of that group (Nets, Cavaliers, Hawks), last season’s injury trouble showed us how quickly things can fall off the cliff. And considering this is almost precisely the same group, it’s not hard not to believe similar struggles could arise throughout the year. If that were to happen, we could easily be looking at a team that is fighting for a top Play-In Tournament spot instead of a top-6 seed.
  • Anyway, I wrote a little bit more about this after the Donovan Mitchell trade a couple of weeks back. Competition is ultimately a good thing, and it should force this organization to continue to be aggressive in its pursuit to build a contender. But I really hope that their decision to lay low this summer doesn’t result in a significant step back from last season. Chicago deserves a Bulls team that stays relevant and doing that will not be easy in this version of the East.
  • Finishing 3rd on the NBA’s Top Plays of the 2021-22 Season is not too shabby, but I think an argument can easily be made that it belongs one spot higher. The league put Devonte Graham’s full-court game-winner for the Pelicans in the No. 2 slot. Don’t get me wrong, that is an insane shot, but am I wrong for thinking that’s a little more luck-based than DeRozan’s two clutch makes? Not to mention, I think the historic nature of those back-to-back final shots should be factored into the equation. *shrug*
  • Regardless, I agree that the No. 1 play belongs to Steven Adams and Ja Morant. This full-court dime and quick-twitch shot were absolutely jaw-dropping.
  • Zach LaVine’s knee is looking as springy as ever.
  • The Miami Heat are so extra. According to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, the franchise will head to the Bahamas for their training camp this season. They will spend time on the island of New Providence at Baha Mar, where they have reportedly made a multi-year deal to hold training camps moving forward.
  • The Waiter still doesn’t get the respect he deserves. Not only did he have one heck of an impressive NBA career, but his performance overseas is borderline legendary. I also think he’s one of those few players who played a style that was far ahead of his time. Put Kukoc in today’s league, and there is a very good chance that man is a muti-time All-Star.
  • If they actually beat the Packers, I might cry.
  • The Cards. Always the Cards.

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Author: Elias Schuster

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