The 2022-23 Bulls achieved even if it was underachieving at the end.
There was forceful and ascendent successes, with comfortable victories over title contenders like the Bucks, Celtics, 76ers, Nuggets and Warriors. Unfortunately, the Bulls didn’t get to test those theories in the playoffs.
Because there also were curious and confusing defeats to draft lottery denizens like the Rockets, Spurs, Wizards and Hornets. And even more stunning walk-off losses to the Magic, Kings, Wizards, Cavaliers and Hawks.
It all concluded in an unsatisfying 40-42 season, six wins fewer than in 2021-22 and locked out of those playoffs the Bulls were so sure was their destiny. A playoffs despite how the season was going where they believed they could compete because of their success against winning teams, the parity in the league and the happenstance with injuries. With players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Ja Morant, for example, hurt with favorites already and a Bulls defense much better against Miami than was Milwaukee’s more highly regarded.
DeMar DeRozan did repeat as an All-Star and get in the running for Clutch Player of the Year. Ayo Dosunmu was again in the Rising Stars game. Nikola Vučević and Patrick Williams played in every game in credit to themselves and the game. Zach LaVine played through recovery from surgery to move among the elite in the game in the second half of the season with a pair of 40-plus games in one week. Coby White was Bulls most improved in virtually all facets of his game. And the team moved from the brink in a loss that could have defined their season back in December to sweeping the rest of that road trip with back-to-back game-winners. They beat Steph and the Warriors and then won over the French in Paris.
Though much still remains to be considered even if Bulls basketball czar Artūras Karnišovas said at Saturday’s post-mortem he believes the arrow continues to point upward and he likes his team’s core.
But who’ll play point guard with Lonzo Ball uncertain for next season. And is that player even on the roster?
Patrick Williams once was uncertain where he belongs. No more. He says he’s a wing player, which leaves a hole at power forward. Unless the Bulls continue with the guard-heavy lineups. Karnišovas said a major issue to address is the offensive boards, which were a weakness because the team played so many guards too often.
If Williams is a small forward in the venerable sense, then who is the shooting guard, LaVine or DeRozan? Or is it more small ball and let the turnovers and transition points attempt to transcend the rebounding disadvantages?
Does White start? Does Williams start? Does Andre Drummond stay? Will the Bulls be able to get into the 2023 draft either through luck or trade? Just what to do about Dalen Terry?
Here’s a look at the Bulls 2022-23 roster, their seasons and the outlook.
2022: 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, .389 threes.
2023: 24.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, .375…
Read More: Evaluating the Chicago Bulls 2022-23 roster going into the offseason 2023-04-17 14:49:00