Revisiting predictions for 2023-24 Bulls season


Revisiting predictions for 2023-24 Bulls season originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

On Oct. 24, 2023, six predictions for the Chicago Bulls season landed on the NBC Sports Chicago website.

The caveat then—and now—was that it’s hard to make bold preseason predictions about a team that returned 12 of 14 players and finished almost dead level at 40-42. So the six predictions were of the practical, not bold, variety.

How did we do? You be the judge.

The Bulls will finish 43-39 and make the playoffs

This landed under another caveat—the needed quality of good health. That, of course, eluded the Bulls, as it does many teams. However, the Bulls again experienced a severe spate with season-ending surgeries for Zach LaVine and Patrick Williams and the continued season-long absence of Lonzo Ball.

The premise for the prediction came true: The Bulls had stumbled from 25 clutch victories in 2021-22 to 15 clutch victories last season. A rebound seemed in order.

And indeed, the Bulls, with six games to play, have played the most clutch minutes in the NBA and rank second only to the Nuggets with 25 clutch victories.

The Bulls are likely going to finish with 38 to 40 victories and have clinched a berth in the play-in tournament, where they will need two straight victories to make the latter part of this prediction true. Stay tuned.

Zach LaVine will join the vaunted 50/40/90 shooting club

This didn’t age well.

This is rare company indeed. Only eight players have achieved these vaunted numbers, shooting 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range and 90 percent from the free-throw line.

They are Larry Bird (twice), Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Nash (four times), Kevin Durant (twice), Stephen Curry, Malcolm Brogdon and Kyrie Irving.

LaVine enjoyed a dominant preseason in which he looked athletic and explosive and talked about how good his body felt. Coach Billy Donovan talked about wanting to put LaVine in more catch-and-shoot situations.

Everything lined up—until it didn’t.

LaVine and the Bulls stumbled to a 5-14 start, with LaVine struggling to finish at the…

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Author : NBC Sports Chicago

Publish date : 2024-04-03 13:28:11

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