The Bulls sit 6-10, 12th in the eastern conference, while enduring a four-game losing streak. On Nov. 18, the Bulls lost to the Orlando Magic 108-107 after leading 107-103 with 26.5 seconds left, the most heartbreaking performance of the season.
Star shooting guard Zach Lavine, who signed a 5-year $215.2 million max contract during the offseason, was benched down the stretch by head coach Billy Donovan.
In the post-game press conference, Lavine showed his disapproval of the decision.
“That’s Billy’s decision. He’s gotta lay with it. Do I agree with it? No.”
Lavine finished the rough night with four points on 1-14 shooting and a +/- of -19, worst on the team.
DeMar DeRozan has continued his impressive scoring into this season.
DeRozan has played all 16 games for the Bulls this season, and he’s averaging 25.2 points per game, 14th in the NBA. He’s been effective overall, with a 52.4 field goal percentage. In an era geared towards the three ball, DeRozan has tried to keep the midrange alive. He’s arguably the best midrange shooter of this generation. DeRozan has shot 55.7 percent (63/113) from the midrange this season, one of the most effective spots in his game.
His scoring ability has been one of the few inspiring parts of the Bulls’ rough start to 2022.
In the loss to the Magic, DeRozan played 44 minutes and scored 41 points on 16-30 shooting.
The Bulls would be in a much worse position without the mid-range master.
The 15-year veteran in Dragić has been exactly what the Bulls need from the bench. Last season, the Bulls lacked consistent shooters, which is exactly what Dragić provides. In his play so far, he has been lights out, shooting 44 percent from deep. In his best game, Dragić scored 16 points and shot 4-6 from three in a nine-point loss to the Toronto Raptors. Overall, the Bulls have been much better with him on the court. This season, he has a +/- of 70.
Dragić has utilized his playmaking abilities, too. In only 19 minutes per game, he’s averaging 3.8 incredible assists.
Andre Drummond has been an important bench piece for the Bulls this season.
While Dragić has helped fix one of the Bulls’ issues last season, Drummond has helped fill another. Rebounding. The two-time All-Star is a four-time rebounding champ and one of the best rebounders of the past decade. In his limited role (only 16 minutes per game), Drummond has grabbed boards like a mad-man. He’s averaging 8.7 per game, including 3.1 offensive boards. The Bulls were second-worst in offensive rebounds per game (8.7) last season, despite having Nikola Vucevic in a prominent rebounding role (8th-most rebounds last season with 11 per game).
Adding Drummond to the bench was a great choice by Bulls Executive Vice President, Artūras Karnišovas.
Despite these positive aspects of the season, the Bulls are still struggling.
The Bulls’ offense is still below average, scoring 110.5 points per game (19th), shooting 46.8 percent from the field (17th) and 35.3 percent from three (16th). All of these numbers are worse than the entire 2021-22 regular season, when the Bulls finished 46-36. Last season, the defense was more of the issue, but the defense has improved in 2022-23.
The Bulls are only allowing 111.6 points per game, 11th best in the NBA.