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Final wave of NBA season predictions place the Bulls far from the playoffs

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It could be a long season

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NBA: Preseason-New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018-2019 NBA season is finally here which means outlets all over the internet are pushing out last-minute content to try to project what is going to happen.

How are the experts predicting the Bulls to fare?

Badly.

I’m sure everybody is completely in shock with that revelation.

Over at FiveThirtyEight.com, Neil Paine gives the Bulls a 5 percent chance of reaching the postseason and predicts that they will finish with 27 wins (same as last year) and the fourth-worst record in the NBA.

Paine uses a player’s CARMELO projection (“an algorithm that compares current players to past ones who had a statistically similar profile through the same age”; read the article to note a few changes with the statistic this year) in conjunction with depth chart projections for both teams.

Over at ESPN insider, Kevin Pelton does similar statistical gymnastics (he uses real plus-minus though) to come up with his projections for the season.

Again. Awful for the Bulls. 28.9 wins, 1 percent chance of sniffing the postseason. Fourth-worst team in the NBA.

With Zach LaVine looking healthy in the preseason and Jabari Parker playing largely at power forward, the Bulls might be able to outperform a projection of the NBA’s 25th-ranked offense. But a defense projected third worst in the league will likely doom any hopes of threatening for a playoff spot with the league’s youngest rotation as weighted by estimated minutes.”

Finally, over at NBA.com John Schuhmann’s rankings are less scientific and more subjective. Doesn’t matter though, the Bulls still get toasted. He power ranks all 30 teams and the Bulls check in at No. 25 (which is a couple spots better than the other projections had the Bulls).

After two games in which they appeared largely disinterested, the Bulls made a lineup change -- Jabari Parker and Robin Lopez to the bench, Bobby Portis and Wendell Carter Jr. in the starting lineup -- that made a difference. Parker still scored 19 points in 32 minutes off the bench in the preseason finale against Denver on Friday. Lauri Markkanen (elbow sprain) is out for at least the first 12 games, but Zach LaVine is healthy and was efficient (true shooting percentage of 63.1 percent) in the preseason. Starting at center will test Carter’s ability to be a defensive anchor, and in his regular-season debut on Thursday, he gets to match up with Joel Embiid.

After last season, Chicago Bulls Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson said he never wants to go through a season like the one his team endured in 2017-2018.

If that’s still the case he may personally be in for a long year.