CHISportsNation

27-55 that was the record of a tanking Bulls team from last season. A team that traded away Nikola Mirotic midway through the season. A team without Zach Lavine for 58 games. A team that sat veterans Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez in hopes to secure more losses. We all knew what last season was going to be. It was going to be ugly, as the first year of a rebuild, the goal was to lose, lose, and lose, in hopes of getting a top 5 pick. Unfortunately, the Bulls didn’t lose enough to pick in the top 5. Fortunately, Wendell Carter Jr. was available at # 7 for the Bulls.

With the NBA announcing a few weeks back that the MGM Resorts International would become the league’s official gambling partner, the door was opened for betting to become an acceptable part of sports culture. When Las Vegas released the odds of each teams record for next season, it was met with much intrigue.

Nobody would expect the Bulls to be too high on the list record wise. After all, this is only the 2nd year of the rebuild, and the new parts of the team will need time to gel. But the experts in Vegas predicted that the Bulls will win 27.5 game this season, marking this as the 3rd worst team in the league!

In my opinion, they are underestimating this Bulls team. A team with a healthy Zach Lavine, ready to prove his doubters, that he can be the # 1 option. A team with a stronger Lauri Markkanen, who put on 14 pounds of muscle in the off season to prepare to continue his development in his sophomore year. A team that added hometown hero Jabari Parker, who is focused on showing his city what he can do. A team that is no longer looking to lose as much as possible.

I expect this team to have growing pains, and to hit a few bumps in the road here and there, and Parkers fit at the small forward position remains to be seen. But I fully anticipate this team to be competitive and get out and run and fight hard every night, enough so that they should win more than 27 games.

Not to say it would be all bad if the Bulls could only muster 27 wins, as it would result in acquiring another high draft pick. But the Eastern Conference opened up with the departure of Lebron James from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Boston Celtics with a returning Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward should be amongst the top 3 teams of the East, along with Joel Embid, Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Toronto Raptors with Kyle Lowery and the newly acquired Kawhi Leonard.

It’s not hard to fathom that the Bulls could be fighting for 1 of the 5 remaining playoff spots with the likes of the Washington Wizards, Indiana Pacers and Milwaukee Bucks. This young Bulls team will be looking to prove detractors wrong along with Las Vegas, about where they will finish among the standings. Not only will the Bulls be out to prove their skills to their US fan base, but also to their fans in Mexico.

The NBA announced that the Bulls will play a regular season game against the Orlando Magic on Dec 13th in Mexico City. As part of the third consecutive season that the NBA will host 2 regular season games in Mexico, this will mark the first time the Bulls will make the trip.

Chicago Bulls President and COO, Michael Reinsdorf provided this comment to NBA.com: “We are honored that the NBA invited the Chicago Bulls to be a part of sharing a game we love with a global audience. While our home town is Chicago, the Bulls are fortunate to have fans around the world and we are excited to take our team on the road and help bring the NBA-game experience to Mexico City. On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank Adam Silver, the NBA, and Mexico City for this opportunity.”

Before traveling to Mexico City, the Bulls will open their season on the road, against the 76ers on October 18th.

As the summer continues to dwindle down, and the off season workouts and pick up games come to a halt, the leaves will begin to fall and the bright arena lights will shine down, as fans worldwide will witness the running of the Bulls.

Photos courtesy of Google image search.

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