It’s been an up and down campaign for the Chicago Bulls as a whole, DeMar DeRozan isn’t playing at the level of a Kobe Bryant like he was last season and from the looks of it a best case scenario for the Chicago Bulls in the 2023 NBA Playoffs is an Eastern Conference Finals berth if Zach Lavine can manage to play at the level he did yesterday against the Toronto Raptors; a game in which he poured in a blistering 39 points and sucked the air out of the Scotiabank Arena, hitting jumpers from all over the floor in classic Black Mamba fashion. The Bulls did award Lonzo Ball with a 4-year extension and with that comes expectations, expectations Lonzo Ball hasn’t been able to meet at the NBA level so far as he hasn’t looked quite like he did at UCLA where he looked like the future Jason Kidd of the NBA. If Lonzo Ball can manage to get healthy for next season I believe the Bulls can compete for the championship next season assuming they elect to bring back both DeMar DeRozan and Zach Lavine for another go round, and of course hopefully they can manage to re-sign high-scoring guard Coby White who has played like a 6th man of the year for a good portion of this past season.
Lonzo Ball has practically been a bust so far in the NBA, he never quite proved his potential as a Laker; although I would add that had he not suffered an injury the lone year he lined up alongside LeBron James that the Lakers would’ve been a shoe-in for the playoffs. As LeBron and Lonzo’s chemistry seemed to be increasing the more and more games they got in together but obviously when the possibility of acquiring a talent the caliber of a Anthony Davis comes along you just have to put everything on the table. Lonzo Ball is the big bro within the Ball Brothers, his brother LaMelo Ball seems to always get the spotlight being that he appears more charismatic to the media and just naturally a more confident individual but comparing the two there is no denying that Lonzo Ball can be just as good as LaMelo he just needs to find a way to stay on the court and of the Bulls injury report for 3 quarters of a season. Looking at the Bulls right now, I could only imagine how much his defense and play-making would’ve helped a Bulls team in dire need of a floor general; an area Patrick Beverley and Coby White can only manage to cover partially as neither is the gifted passer Lonzo Ball is on the offensive end.
Bulls’ management has been making questionable decisions since the Derrick Rose era ended in Chicago, Zach Lavine hasn’t quite lived up to having the legacy many Bulls fans expected after bringing him over via the trade which sent former Bulls star Jimmy Butler over to Minnesota to pair up with Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. DeMar DeRozan joining Zach Lavine in Chicago also took my in for a loop but the experiment makes sense assuming Lonzo Ball is in the picture. As it stands the Bulls have several assets they could offer via trade in order to change up the personnel around Zach Lavine and who knows maybe Lonzo himself will get traded; but the Bulls of course would be wise to at least see if Lonzo can finally blossom. Who knows maybe the extended break this entire season and a full summer could do wonders for Lonzo and he could come out playing at a MVP level next season, after all he is only 25 years old with plenty of basketball left in those young legs until at least the age of 30 when he might start to really break down like an Old Chevy considering how frangile his body seems to be so far.
Lonzo really does have the capability of turning around the Chicago Bulls for the better. He could bring back the same buzz they had back when Derrick Rose was zigging and zagging through traffic with earth shattering spin moves and breath-taking lay-ins in mid-air; stuff my eyes had only visioned back when Kobe Bryant was donning the #8 alongside Shaquille O’Neal in the early 2000’s. Seeing how the league is dominated with so many score first point guards these days being that the game is emphasized on high-volume 3 point shooting more than ever, a point guard like Lonzo Ball is an absolute diamond in a rough. I mean just look at Damian Lillard in Portland this past season, scoring at an elite level but it got him no where for the simple fact that he isn’t a true point guard at heart like a Lonzo Ball per say. Lonzo Ball is a jack of all trades at the point-guard position, as there isn’t much he can’t do on the court aside from being a consistent shooter; and obviously we’d all wish he would remain aggressive for a full bag game, something he has struggled with in the NBA so far. It’s not too late for Lonzo to flip the script and live up to his draft billing, when the Bulls signed Lonzo to a 4-year deal I told myself him joining the Bulls would be perfect timing; as I’ve seen many former NBA stars sucb as the likes of former all-star big man Jermaine O’Neal whose career only ever took off after he arrived in Indiana where he became a perennial all-star and one of the top players in the game. Not saying it will be the same case for Lonzo nor that he’ll ever become a top 10 player like O’Neal but next season Lonzo Ball at least gives the organization something to look forward to, till next time.