2019-20 Chicago Bulls Season Preview

Wilson Irvin, Staff Writer

This year, the fate of the Chicago Bulls is in the hands of Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. If both can maintain their health throughout the season, the Bulls might have shot at making the playoffs in the extraordinarily weak Eastern Conference.

Last year, LaVine carried the Bulls and averaged 23.7 points, 4.0 assists, and 4.7 rebounds a game. This year, look for him to continue to lead the Bulls in scoring.

However, the Bulls players are known for being quite injury prone. Markkanen missed 30 games last year due to injury, LaVine still continuously recovering from an ACL tear, and Otto Porter Jr. has a history of injuries here and there.

One of the biggest issues the Bulls had last year was a lack of veterans on their roster. They supplemented that with the additions of Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky in free agency, but the main excitement around the Bulls was the draft selections of Coby White of North Carolina and Daniel Gafford of Arkansas.

White has shown promise during the Summer League, averaging 15.0 points and 4.0 assists. Compared to other former lottery point guards, like star player D’Angelo Russell, only averaged only 11.8 points and 3.2 assists. Other stars like Trae Young of the Hawks averaged 19.0 points a game. 

White looks to be in a good spot for him to grow into the star point guard that the Bulls haven’t had since Derrick Rose.

While the players are the ones who are playing the game, a lot of the pressure is put on the coach. Jim Boylen, heading into his first full season as head coach. Boylen has high hopes for his team.

Boylen intends to have a faster-paced offense this year after finishing 20th in the league last year, according to an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. 

With the return of Denzel Valentine and additions of Luke Kornet and Satoransky, Boylen hopes for more attempts from beyond the arc. Last year, the Bulls were 27th in three-point attempts. Almost 20 attempts behind the Houston Rockets–who were in first–and shot 45 attempts per game. 

Overall, the main goals for the Bulls this season, develop Coby White and Lauri Markkanen, let Zach LaVine score the ball, and shoot for a seven or eight seed in the playoffs.

All of which are doable, only if coaching isn’t a problem for the players, and the rotation can maintain a healthy status.