Kyrie Irving has made headlines for a lot of reasons over the past year, but in the last few weeks is where he's looked closest to making the decision to never play basketball again. First were the rumors that if traded, he would simply retire. Then came the news that he would not be taking on the vaccine, even if...
Far-Fetched Friday: The Chicago Bulls Will Advance Past the First Round of the Playoffs
By: Ryan Stein
There are few events in the NBA more exciting than the day of the trade deadline. Teams looking to either add a piece to improve their position in the standings or offloading players in exchange for future assets. One of the more surprising moves of the recent trade deadline, and the day's biggest name being moved, came in the form of the Chicago Bulls trading for the Orlando Magic's star center, Nikola Vucevic.
Welcome back to Far-Fetched Friday, where every Friday we give you a bold prediction that we believe will come to fruition. This Friday, we look at a city that is known for taking things personally.
Before the trade took place, it was still somewhat unclear whether the Bulls were going to make efforts to win now, or rebuild. The team has a clear direction now though, and the acquisition of their newest indicates they intend to push for wins instead of waiting for the future.
The two moves the Bulls made at the deadline will pay off, as I believe they will find a way to advance past the first round of the playoffs this season.
With Vucevic manning the center spot, the Bulls now have two 24+ PPG scorers, something present in only a select few lineups in the NBA (Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and Brooklyn Nets are the teams that come to mind.) That sort of firepower is huge in the playoffs, as Chicago now has two players that can be trusted with carrying the offense on any given night. That being said, the Bulls face an uphill battle, as they currently occupy the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference standings. While that's good enough for a play-in spot, they'll need to improve their standing to have a realistic shot and upsetting a team in the first round.
They are only 3 games out of the 5th seed at the moment, which goes to show how close the teams are in the middle tier of the East. If they can somehow make it up to the 5-seed, which is not outside the realm of possibility, their potential first-round matchup becomes a lot easier. The main obstacle facing the Bulls will be relying on young, inexperienced players like Coby White and rookie Patrick Williams to play significant minutes.
While they could surprise and show out in the playoffs a la Tyler Herro in last year's playoffs, it's just as likely that they aren't ready for the bright lights of the postseason.
While this Bulls team has plenty of flaws, with lack of playoff experience being a major one, they have enough talent at the top of their lineup to at least make a top seed sweat a little in the first round.
Ultimately, I believe the acquisition of Vucevic will be enough for them to pull off a major upset early in the playoffs, and return to relevant Chicago Bulls basketball.
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