Bulls NBA Championship Odds: Can Chicago Right the Ship?
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls.
Chicago Bulls NBA Championship Odds
Chicago Bulls Analysis
The Chicago Bulls entered this season with a ton of new faces on their squad. DeMar DeRozan signed with them in free agency along with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. Nikola Vucevic had played about a third of a season with them coming into the year after being dealt from the Magic at the 2021 trade deadline.
Despite an injury to Patrick Williams, the Bulls started off strong with their three new free agency acquisitions excelling as DeMar DeRozan emerged as an MVP candidate while putting up Wilt-like numbers. However, as Ball and Caruso were injured later in the year, the Bulls simply didn’t have enough defensively to remain at the top of the Eastern Conference.
On Feb. 25, the Bulls were 39-21 and tied for the best record in the East, but as their defense continued to deteriorate and DeRozan couldn’t continue to put up those unsustainably great numbers, they have since come back down to Earth. Since Feb. 25th, the Bulls are just 7-15 straight up as they are limping into the playoffs in the sixth seed as Ball is out for the season and Caruso remains out.
If the Bulls hope to push the defending champion Bucks in the first round as heavy underdogs, they need to improve defensively. They rank 24th in half-court Defensive Rating (98.2), which is the worst half-court Defensive Rating among the top-eight seeds in each conference.