Bulls Weekly Preview: Heat, Wizards, and Cavaliers - October 18-23, 2022

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Bulls Weekly Preview: Heat, Wizards, and Cavaliers – October 18-23, 2022

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls’ underwhelming offseason isn’t inspiring much confidence in anyone these days, not even the hometown crew of Jason Goff, Kendall Gill, and Will Perdue over at NBC Sports Chicago. Like many national outlets, the trio has the Bulls destined for the play-in tournament.

Check out their predictions, and then let’s get into the slate of action this week, including an opening night tilt in South Beach tomorrow night.

Meet the Opponents:

•  10/19 at Heat (0-0, 53-29 in ’21-22): Always nice to have family over, especially our little brothers in the East standings … 
•  10/21 at Wizards (0-0, 35-47 in ’21-22): We haven’t forgotten about New Year’s Day …
•  10/23 vs. Cavaliers (0-0, 44-38 in ’21-22): See the back of our jerseys? Enjoy that view after the offseason we had.

Bulls Projected Lineup

1. Ayo Dosunmu
2. Zach LaVine
3. DeMar DeRozan
4. Patrick Williams
5. Nikola Vučević

Opponent Projected Lineup

Heat:

1. Kyle Lowry
2. Tyler Herro
3. Jimmy Butler
4. Caleb Martin
5. Bam Adebayo

Wizards:

1. Monte Morris
2. Bradley Beal
3. Will Barton
4. Kyle Kuzma
5. Kristaps Porzingis

Cavaliers:

1. Darius Garland
2. Donovan Mitchell
3. Caris LeVert
4. Evan Mobley
5. Jarrett Allen

Unavailable/Injured (at the start of the week):

Bulls: OUT – Lonzo Ball (knee)

Heat: DTD – Udonis Haslem (unlisted), DTD – Nikola Jovic (back), DTD – Omer Yurtseven (ankle)

Wizards: OUT – Corey Kispert (ankle)

Cavaliers: OUT – Ricky Rubio (knee), DTD – Dean Wade (ankle), DTD – Dylan Windler (ankle)

Four Factors

•   Bulls: 54.1 EFG% (10th), 13.0 TOV% (6th), 24.9 OREB% (28th), .248 FTA RATE (17th)

•   Heat: 54.7 EFG% (5th), 14.9 TOV% (28th), 27.8 OREB% (10th), .252 FTA RATE (12th)

•   Wizards: 53.2 EFG% (18th), 13.3 TOV% (11th), 24.7 OREB% (29th), .252 FTA RATE (13th)

•   Cavaliers: 53.8 EFG% (14th), 14.8 TOV% (27th), 27.7 OREB% (12th), .261 FTA RATE (7th)

What to Watch For …

Bulls: Well, here we go—year two of the current core, year three of Billy Donovan. I want to be excited. I really, really do. But when Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond are your offseason acquisitions, it’s hard to feel much better than we did when the Bulls scuffled down the stretch and had the doors blown off by the Bucks in the opening round of the NBA Playoffs. On the bright side (and the most Jerry Reinsdorf logic ever), the Bulls – save for Lonzo Ball – are healthy. As a White Sox fan, hearing about team health as an excuse for not adding talent in the offseason is a yearly tradition like no other. Yay!

Heat: The Miami Heat are one of the best teams in the NBA, and one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, so starting the season at their place isn’t ideal, but DeMar DeRozan said that the Bulls were excited about the challenge on opening night. Be careful what you wish for, I suppose. It’s easy to forget that the Heat were a hair away from being in the NBA Finals again last season.

Wizards: The schedule makers did the Bulls a favor by giving them Washington in between Miami and Cleveland this week, and the Bulls should make easy work of the Wizards if they can avoid playing down to their level. I will say, though, Washington isn’t short on offensive weapons, so while this is a step down from their other two opponents this week, they can’t nap through their trip to D.C.

Cavaliers: The addition of Donovan Mitchell should go a long way in helping this Cavaliers team take the next step, especially offensively, an area in which they struggled the most last season. Mitchell’s addition and year two of Evan Mobley scare me as a central division rival. If the Cavs can remain healthy, they’ll be a thorn in the Bulls’ side this season.


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Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.