The Chicago Bulls open the 2020-21 season on the 23rd. December at 7:00 p.m. at the United Center against the Atlanta Hawks. After one of the most eventful seasons of the NBA, Arturas Karnishovas replaced John Paxson as Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations and Mark Eversley took over as General Manager of Gar Forman. Billy Donovan also becomes head coach after the departure of Jim Boylen.
The Bulls fans have an enthusiasm they haven’t had for a long time. Before the official announcement of the season, the writers of The Bulls On Tap sat down to make their predictions about how the season would end.
What exactly are you going to see this season?
Picture: Chicago Bulls
Matt Berklan: I’m looking for an individual whose growth has been slowed down by Boylen.
Buzz: I’m looking at three words: Absolutely. Players. Development.
Ryan Dreyer: I am very excited to see how Billy Donovan can take young players to a higher level of development while remaining competitive and making the most of Lauri Markkanen’s unique skills.
Justin Wasik: I see Billy Donovan coaching this team. He had superstars in Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul in previous teams. He doesn’t have that luxury this time.
Rob Wegley: I want to see if Zach LaVine can organize to defend the ball. He says he wants to improve and show that he’s a complete player, so we’re going to look at that on the pitch.
What is your prediction for a Bull Victory?
Matt Berklan: 35-37.
Buzz: Between 32-40 and 35-37.
Ryan Dreyer: 36-36.
Justin Wasik: 26-46.
Rob Wegley: I’m less optimistic than Burke and Buzz and Ryan, but a little more optimistic than Justin. 28-44.
What does Zach LaVine’s stat line look like?
Photo : Mike Dinovo/United States today
Matt Berklan: 25/4/6.
Ryan Dreyer: 25/6/7.
Justin Wasik: 24/5/4.
Rob Wegley: 27/5/4.
Expectations for the Rookie Year Patrick Williams ?
Photo : NBA.com
Matt Berklan: My expectations are optimistic because of Williams’ ability to jump right into the preseason. As long as Otto Porter Jr. is here, I expect Williams to keep his grades modest. If the OPJ acts against the deadline, I expect Williams to be in the top five of his class by the end of the year.
Buzz: Not much. He’ll show flashes of explosiveness, but he’ll fight aggressively.
Ryan Dreyer: His game reminds me of Kawhi Leonard when he came to the league. I think he’s one of those guys who can triple every night. But in the first year I look for signs of healthy development. Running, defending, bouncing, getting the ball in the right place, hitting a free kick, etc.
Justin Wasik: I think you’ll see improvements as the season progresses. A shorter season would also help Williams, but he could fade a bit like a lot of bruises. I think he’ll be a full-time starter by the end of the season.
Rob Wegley: I think Williams is gonna get off the couch and do a decent job. But nothing too spectacular. Realistically, Otto Porter Jr. should start because of the commercial value, but Patrick Williams showed a bit of himself this preseason. He will post stats around 11/5/3 while pulling a decent percentage out of the field, but he will have difficulty hitting from the deep and will continue to fall for it.
What’s your surprise for the 2020-21 season?
Photo : ChicagoBulls/Twitter
Matt Berklan: Daniel Gafford. It will rise to a level considered the theft of an ice axe. Wendell Carter Jr.’s disappointing game will give Gafford extra minutes.
Buzz: I’ll call him now for the report: Lauri Markkanen returns to the race in 2020-21.
Ryan Dreyer: I think Kobe White is destined to be a star. He will be part of his first NBA All-Star team, or at least get a few votes.
Justin Wasik: If Chandler Hutchison can stay healthy, I’m very happy to see his contributions. I think he could be a 12-13 PPG, 6-7 RPG player. It’d be great from the couch.
Rob Wegley: Sign me up for the Tomasz Satoranski fan club. He must have excelled in attacking Billy Donovan, and he said he was sometimes too passive last year. Of course Kobe White has to go first, but watch Satoransky from the couch.
What is your most frustrating player?
Wendell Carter Jr. Otto Porter, Jr.Photo: NBA.com
Matt Berklan: Wendell Carter Jr. will move away from his midfield/innergame and strike hard from the outside, improving his offensive numbers. This will force him to be too aggressive on defense and get into trouble.
Buzz: Otto Porter, Jr.
Ryan Dreyer: I’m not a fan of Wendell Carter Jr. I think they should trade it while it’s still valuable. If they wait too long, they get nothing in return.
Justin Wasik: That’s Otto Porter Jr. to me. I’ve never really been impressed with him as a player, and I think Patrick Williams will take a few minutes away from him. Besides, I can anticipate a repetition of the injuries.
Rob Wegley: I agree with Matt and Ryan. Looking at the preseason, the WCJ doesn’t seem to have everything it needs for this season. I was thinking Chandler Hutchison, but Carter Jr. is also my choice.
What do you think is the most likely off-season operation?
Photo : Jeff Haynes/NWAE via Getty Images
Matt Berklan: Otto Porter, Jr.’s been sold.
BuzzOnTap: Just like Berklan: Otto Porter, Jr.’s been sold.
Ryan Dreyer: Wendell Carter Jr. has been sold.
Justin Wasik: The OPW trade is most likely if it remains healthy. If that scenario doesn’t happen, I could also consider a deal for Lauri Markkanen if he plays well, but the Bulls are far from a playoff candidate.
Rob Wegley: The most logical approach is to exchange Otto Porter Jr. Hopefully a rival team will let the Bulls make a future first choice in exchange for their ability to stay healthy from the bank.
The strangest thing that happened this season.
- Examples : Felicio’s 40-point game, Paxson’s attack on the United Center to boost the team during the game, and so on.
Photo : Chicago Tribune
Matt Berklan: Devon Dotson will come into the game early and score more than 20 points.
Buzz: Kobe White will include the number of attendees in a five-digit series.
Ryan Dreyer: Daniel Gafford has more than ten blocks in the game.
Justin Wasik: Kobe White hits eight triples in a quarter, breaking his own franchise record.
Rob Wegley: I’ll stick with one of my examples. Now that WCJ and Laurie are injured, Thaddeus Young and Daniel Gafford get into trouble early in the match, Cristiano Felicio wins and scores 40 points out of nothing.
What’s your prediction for the 2020-21 season, Bullshit Fans? Let us know in comments or on Twitter:
Follow the Bulls on Click podcast throughout the season for post-game broadcasts, news, player analysis and additional Bulls on Click commentary.