It’s the Bulls Podcast #59. We’ve got Bulls Week 1 Predictions, Zach Lavine shut down for the opener, Coby White denied an extension, P.Will or P.Wont, and our Bulls Season Expectations.
We thought we would get a quick show in before the game starts to go over some things and test out all our video connections. We’re using Streamyard for the first and probably last time, we will see how it goes.
We’ve got several topics for you this episode. Including:
- Zach Lavine shut down on week 1
- P.Will or P.Won’t? Patrick Williams starts
- Coby White not given contract extension.
- Early Season Predictions
Zach Lavine is taking the day off for the Season Opener for “Load Management”
Zach LaVine told reporters in Miami that he isn’t feeling specific soreness/pain in his knee. Management like today could be expected throughout the rest of the season. Still uncertain if he will play in DC but it hadn’t been ruled out yet.
Zach LaVine may also miss Friday’s game vs. Wizards, with likelihood the two-time All-Star makes his season debut in Saturday’s home opener vs. Cleveland.
Julia Poe, who covers the Bulls for the Chicago Tribune noted that while this may seem like semantics, it feels like a serious distinction between injury management (which is what Zach is requiring right now) and load management. He’s not sitting to avoid getting tired, there is a specific issue — he was just vague today about what that is.
While Zach just played 10 days ago and logged 24 minutes, there seems to be no way that this is just “load management”. Seems like there is something else happening. Are we hitting the panic button way too early?
Coby White Not Given Contract Extension and will become Restricted Free Agent
Contract extension time has come and gone for Coby White, who will become a Restricted Free Agent after the season. Coby has become the odd man out with last season’s sudden surge of Ayo. To me this move spells a trade for the Bulls sometime this season, but AK/ME have proved me wrong several times before.
COBY WHITE VIDEO CLIP
My question is, does Coby make sense to keep on the team for the remainder of the year, or should we already be living in the NBA Trade Machine to find a potential new piece that we can get in return for Coby?
Patrick Williams. Is he P.Will or P.Won’t?
This season is an important one for starter Patrick Williams. After 2 seasons of on-again off-again play from the #4 pick, it’s going to be interesting to see if P.Will can live up to our expectations.
BILLY VIDEO CLIP
This is someone that we traded away Wendell Carter Jr and 3 picks to get Vooch. Because we thought that P.Will would be able to fill the workload for years to come. But is he that guy? Will he prove something to the fans, even in week 1 off the season?
For the record, I am coining the phrase P.Won’t, just in case it’s not already out there. I hope I never have to say it again, but I’m keeping it in my pocket for now, giving him the benefit of the doubt. But to me the whole season hinges on P.Will. It’s a pivotal position in the NBA. We could have easily gotten a free agent with more proven talent and experience without all the drama.
Bulls Season Expectations
Zach could have a huge season after surgery on the left knee that troubled him last season. LaVine is healthy, driven and focused on winning by displaying incredible 2 day talent.
Q: Will Zach be the leading scorer for the Bulls this year?
Q: Will he make the All Star team for the 3rd Straight Year?
Ayo Dosunmu will start more games at point guard than Lonzo Ball
If you’re a Bulls fan, you hope this prediction is wrong. And that’s not a knock on Dosunmu, who stands poised to have a breakout season.
But no player on the roster duplicates the skill set of Ball, a two-way talent who impacts winning far beyond the box score. Ball hasn’t played competitively since January. Though his focus is on attempting to play this season, it’s a safe bet that his return will be played conservatively. Even if he does return, he could do so initially off the bench.
Alex Caruso will set his career high for games played and every other stat
Caruso’s career-high total is 64 of 71 games in the pandemic-shortened season of 2019-20. During his first season with the Bulls, he logged 41 games as he battled a variety of ailments, including a Grayson Allen cheap shot that fractured his wrist.
Caruso would need to play in 74 games to match the career-high percentage he played in 2019-20 with the Lakers. After an offseason spent on strengthening his lower extremities, here’s saying that luck lands on Caruso’s side.
DeMar DeRozan’s scoring average will be lower, while Nikola Vučević’s will increase
This is definitely not a bold prediction since DeRozan posted a career-high average of 27.9 points during his first season with the Bulls and 13th overall. To ask a player to produce another career-high in Year 14 is a tall task.
More important, if DeRozan did that, it wouldn’t be the optimal version of the Bulls. He would be playing too much hero ball. With an emphasis on ball and player movement to avoid isolation and offensive stagnation, head coach Billy Donovan wants more balanced scoring.
Enter Vučević, who sacrificed more than any player last season and delivered a lights-out preseason. The Bulls want more paint touches. They want Vučević operating as much in the post as on the perimeter. Vučević won’t rival his career-high of 23.4 points set with the 2020-21 Orlando Magic. But look for him to top the 17.6 points he averaged last season.
Goran Dragić and Andre Drummond will be the most valuable signings this year
Both veterans will solidify a second unit that will showcase the Bulls’ depth and allow Donovan to use DeRozan more judiciously. Dragić remains an extremely crafty pick-and-roll player, while Drummond looks intent to prove he’s more than just a rebounder. Perhaps their best attribute is that either player can serve as a spot starter without the Bulls missing a beat.
P-Will or P-Wont?
Will P.Will finally take the step that we need him to? We talked about it. I hope he does. I’m afraid he P.Wont though. The PAW will become the NAW.
The Bulls will finish 47-35 and sixth in the Eastern Conference
The anointments of the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers have happened on paper, not the hardwood. That’s not to say that both teams shouldn’t be improved. And the Eastern Conference is better, with few easy nights.
But the Bulls have continuity and depth, and players like Dosunmu and Patrick Williams could bode well for internal improvement. The Bulls won 46 games last season and, yes, starting the season without Ball is a blow. But I think we can at least repeat last year, plagued by injury, covid and everything else that could go wrong.
Let’s predict our next few games for the coming week
For the Pre-Season, Wyse and Marcus are Tied up in the predictions with only one incorrect prediction each. Here’s what we have coming up this week.
Wednesday Oct 19th – Bulls @ Miami Heat
Marcus: L (Actual: W)
Wyse: L (Actual: W)
Friday Oct 21 – Bulls @ Wizards
Saturday Oct 22 – Bulls vs Cavs (Home Opener)
Mon Oct 24 – Bulls vs Celtics
Wyse Social Links:
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/Radical_Creator
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/WyseBlack
Marcus Social Links
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/marcuscouch
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/marcuscouch
Everything show related you can find @bullspodcast. Please make sure you are connected with us everywhere we are. We’ll most likely be doing it LIVE from here on out, so make sure you check the social feeds to see when we are going live and SUBSCRIBE to the show at YouTube.com/BullsPodcast. We are going to make a lot of fun ways to interact with the fans that other podcasts and shows just aren’t doing, so we hope you continue to choose The Bulls Podcast as one of your regular watched programs throughout this Bulls season and beyond.
Next week we have the one and only P.Kidd from The Windy City Breeze crew joining us on the show, so be ready for the madness that’s yet to come Bulls fans. We’ve got SO MANY Bulls content creators on the show, and we hope that we get the chance to talk to them all throughout the whole season.
Until next time, Thank you for listening everyone, Go Bulls!