Are Da Bulls bringing Da fun this year?
Apparently, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘yes’. ESPN’s Zach Lowe compiled his eighth annual League Pass rankings. He lays out some criteria here, but basically he’s ranking which teams are going to be the most fun to watch.
Lowe has the Chicago Bulls have ranked No. 8 in his 2019-2020 rankings:
I’ve compressed comedy/curiosity scores, but it’s hard with the Bulls. Zach LaVine takes some of the, umm, strangest routes on defense you will see in the NBA. Jim Boylen sweats and yells and crouches, hands on knees, like a basketball Matt Foley (motivational speaker). I am a sucker for Stacey King’s catchphrases and cornball jokes.
LaVine is the best dunker since prime Vince Carter, with the craziest shot selection this side of JR Smith. My man will take half-turnaround 3s. But his jumper is pretty, and he can go on extended hot streaks.
There is a ton of smart give-and-go improvisation -- the winks and nods in tight spaces that make basketball sing -- between Otto Porter Jr., Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young. We need a full season of the Lauri Markkanen-Wendell Carter Jr. duo. They could develop into the rare frontcourt pairing in which both members can play inside or outside -- allowing them to shift almost randomly and keep defenses guessing.
The Bulls getting points in the entertainment department because Jim Boylen is a psycho on the sideline is too freaking funny.
Boylen gets a lot of flak. Some of it he deserves, but I think some of it he doesn’t. He took over a lost team last year so I think it’ll be much fairer to him to evaluate his coaching ability this season as opposed to blasting him last season.
Lowe is a smart analyst, and him saying that Boylen is a smart coach means something I think.
(Unpopular Boylen opinion: He’s a smart coach. Just talk to him, and that shines through. There is even some logic in how he stripped the Bulls down to the basics of physicality and effort upon taking over. I kinda wish he would just coach instead of thinking he needs to play a cartoon capital-C Coach.)
The Bulls were a circus freak show the first week Boylen took over. To say there was logic in what he was doing is a bit perplexing. Tom Thibodeau was tough and had the Bulls playing harder than any other team in the NBA yet the players never mounted a mutiny against him, right?
Side-note: Coby White wasn’t mentioned, but his speed and ability to push in transition should add to the Bulls entertainment ranking this season as well.
Somehow, the Bulls were No. 6 on the list last season. Didn’t make a ton of sense in the moment and definitely does not make a lot of sense in hindsight but whatever we’re over it, it is a new year.
The Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers respectively finished ahead of the Bulls in these rankings.