Bulls recap, predicament: Rebuild or retry


Jonah Silverman, Sports Reporter

For years, Bulls fans have been longing to see the team they love make a deep run in the playoffs reminiscent of the greatest dynasty in all of sports history, the 1990s Chicago Bulls. After all, the greatest duo ever in Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen has turned into a duo of Demar Derozan and Zach Lavine. 

According to Prospect teacher. Vincent Shields, this team needs time to gel. 

“Everything was built to create harmony [back then] while the Bulls now seem to have two all-star talented players; however the other players have not found their role on the team yet,”Shields said.

This season, the Bulls were sitting at a mere 24-27 record before the trade deadline, where they acquired Chicago native point guard Patrick Beverley after being waived by the Orlando Magic.  

The effect Beverley had on this team was obvious; he was the spark plug and the veteran that this young team needed. After signing Beverley, the Bulls instantly felt his impact; they held an explosive Nets team led by the streaky Cam Thomas to only 87 points, and scored 131. However, he was definitely not the only player that was great for the Bulls this year.

“Those two star players, Derozan and Lavine, I think those are the guys you’re going to rely on to get points,” Shields said. “Early in the season, they were still putting up numbers, but they weren’t performing to the best of the team’s ability. I think it seemed kind of separated on how they did; if they had a bad night, there was no chance the team was winning.” 

Prior to the trade deadline, the Bulls let up 115.7 points per game, but after the deadline they held teams to an average of 113.2 points.This might not seem like much, but many of the Bulls’ games this season were decided by only a few points.

After the deadline, the Bulls were able to win slightly more games and looked much more like a team instead of just players, finishing the season with a 40-42 record, just making the play-in tournament. Post-trade deadline the bulls actually had a winning record, as they went 16-15.

In the play-in tournament’s first round, the Bulls shocked many by beating the 7th seeded Toronto Raptors 109-105, a game in which the odds of the Bulls winning were +250. However, the players were not the only ones playing against the Raptors; Demar Derozan’s daughter,Diar, was the likely cause of the Raptors missing 18 free throws in that outing.

Freshman Jacob Greenbolo(Name changed for anonymity) is a big Bulls fan and a sports bettor. When asked about Diar Derozan, he laughed. 

“She was so loud; you could hear her screaming by herself through the tv and your whole house would hear it,” Greenbolo said.

After beating the Raptors, the Bulls had to travel to Miami, where Diar would not be of assistance, to face the Heat in an elimination game. The Bulls played extremely well, but Jimmy Butler led his Heat team to victory over the team he built. The Bulls unfortunately lost 102-91. 

             Greenbolo lost $180 betting on the Bulls to win. 

“I was devastated. I was really confident that they[the Bulls] would come out on top, and of course, I was even more upset that I lost $180,” Greenbolo said. 

Facing toward the future, the Bulls are almost sure to be in good hands. Rising stars like Coby White, Pat Williams and Ayo Dosunmu are great pieces for this Bulls team, being responsible for a combined average of42 points per game. Players like this ensure they will win in the future. 

“I’m a big fan of Ayo Dosunmu. I think what he does is he brings the intangibles to [the Bulls] that a lot of young stars are missing, and I think he can be a star,” Shields said. 

Shields is not alone in rooting for Dosunmu. Dosunmu has been in the Chicago area his whole life. He attended Morgan Park High, where he was ranked 1st in Illinois, and then he attended the University of Illinois, where he was a Naismith National Player of the Year Finalist. Playing for your hometown dream is a childhood dream for most kids, and Dosunmu is living that dream. Many fans admire his “hustle first, flair second” style of play, and it has definitely been missing in this Bulls team. 

It will definitely be an uphill battle for the Bulls to win back their spot as a dominant force in the East, but it is not out of reach, even if the odds are stacked against them. An effective way the Bulls could rebound back into contention would be to go all in and trade for a star center to go along with Derozan and Lavine, but they could also go into another rebuild.

 The current odds for the Bulls to hoist another banner in the next ten years, much less next year, are extremely low, but there is little doubt in the Bulls faithful’s mind that the odds could very well be wrong. 

Greenbolo is very confident in the Bulls, however.

“There is almost no doubt in my mind that [the Bulls] will become dominant in the next five years; they will at least win one ring,” Greenbolo said.