The following is a sponsored post. StubHub wants you to use their service to buy some Bulls tickets, and they asked us to pick a game this month.
The Brooklyn Nets come and visit the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on Saturday night, and there are multiple reasons as to why this will be important for Chicago. It’s both a benchmark for the current state of both franchises and a look into a possible future state of the Bulls.
For starters, both of these teams were expected to compete for the lower rung of the Eastern Conference playoffs. Now I know that Chicago hasn’t started off on the right foot this season at 4-7, but their record could be much better. Collapses in the 4th quarter and poor defense have cost them easy victories. Lauri Markkanen has been in a rotten slump and the rotations so far have been poor (more Thad Young please?).
But time is still on their side, and currently the Bulls are unbelievable only a half game out of the 7th seed, which is where the Brooklyn Nets sit. After the 6th seeded Indiana Pacers, the rest of the East has a less than .500 record including Brooklyn.
The Nets have struggled out of the gate much like they did last season. They are currently on a West coast road trip and will be playing their fifth straight road game when they come to the Madhouse on Madison. Without Kevin Durant, the Nets ceiling will limited but Kyrie Irving and the supporting cast will be enough for them to beat a lot of Eastern Conference teams on a given night. There will be fascinating individual matchups across the board. LaVine vs. Kyrie as two heavy volume scorers while Wendell Carter Jr. will be battling with Jarrett Allen in the paint. Coby White and former Bull Spencer Dinwiddie will try and see who can give their team a bigger spark as a sixth man, while Markkanen will have his hands full trying to score against Taurean Prince.
(There are nights where Caris LeVert looks a potential All-Star, but unfortunately for them LaVert is now out with a thumb injury. From the Bulls side, we don’t know Otto Porter’s status for this game).
These two teams play three times this season, and Saturday will be another chance to see how Chicago stacks up against likely playoff contender. So far in such games, the results have been mixed at best. They got blown out by the Raptors, and lost to an injury riddled Pacers team, however they did take care of business against the Detroit Pistons.
Then when you look at both franchises in terms of roster construction, the Nets are what the Bulls should aspire to be. Brooklyn was also like Chicago a few years back as one of the worst teams in the league. They were in an even worse starting position, with next to zero draft picks after a series of disastrous win-now trades. Yet through shrewd moves the Nets found themselves as a playoff team last season, which was then parlayed into two superstar signings in Kyrie and Durant. They first developed solid talent in their own organization, but the Nets realized you need superstars to win in this league and they spent the last couple of years setting themselves up for it.
To do this for themselves, the Bulls need to continue to find players who can be core pieces for a contender, yet don’t want to be too confident of their current squad. The Nets showed they weren’t afraid to deal their own pieces for the future, like with their lone all-star last season D’Angelo Russell.
There is no reason why Chicago can’t do the same in terms of roster construction. The Bulls could have a playoff team this season while pieces like Carter Jr. and White have shown they can stick around for a while. As free agency then looms, every Bulls fan who has been following the team know that there have been constant summers of heartbreak for this franchise. But they need to give themselves a chance. And the Bulls, like the Nets, have an inherent advantage being in one of the biggest media markets in the world.
In terms of timeline, the Bulls are competing with the 2018-19 Nets, yet still for this season they are also going for one of the same limited available playoff spots. If you are near the Chicagoland area and want to buy tickets to this game, there’s a way through Stubhub. You can find them by clicking on this link right here.
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