Three Reasons Why Bulls Fans Should Be Glad Heading Into The New Year
These are tough and trying times for Bulls fans. I know, because I am a Bulls fan. It is painful to see your team go out there without any game plan whatsoever. It is painful to see your team go out there with no clear first, second and third scoring options. It is painful to read the news and realize that Sacramento Kings players are insulting the Bulls. It is sad to see the coach mocked (partly rightfully) and the players humiliated (completely wrongfully). But this team could be looking up very, very soon. Unless they start winning.......
Injuries and coaching changes (more on that later) have held up team chemistry and bonding. LaVine has been playing at unthinkable levels every night. Rookie Wendell Carter Jr has impressed everyone (more on that too), while the returns of Markkanen and Dunn have given the Bulls some added injection of experience.
Even in the slow pains of growing and getting into lockstep on the court, the Bulls are slowly familiarizing themselves. LaVine has shown a willingness to kick the ball out to Markkanen on top of the key. Rookies Wendell Carter Jr and Chandler Hutchinson have developed a friendship that comes from similar situations.
Most importantly, Robin Lopez has embraced his mentor's role. The big man, by all reports, has been willing to pass on pointers and tips to Carter Jr, even though he's in a contract year. (Lopez will be an unrestricted free agent in 2019, once the season ends, at the age of 31)
A young team is all about the balance. The Lakers last season bonded over mutual roasting on social media. The Big 3 Spurs were all about off-the-court bonding. These Bulls are one of the youngest teams with an average age of 23.6 years. Once Lopez and Justin Holiday are traded (neither look to be a part of the rebuilding process result) and Parker is traded/cut, LaVine will be the most experienced Bull with 4 seasons under his belt and 22 years of age. (Somehow I didn't feel comfortable including Cristiano Felicio in this Bulls-leader context)
Being comfortable with one another is of paramount importance for this Bulls team, even more so when they finally mesh together to aim for a deep playoff run.