'22 Chicago Bulls Chapter 1 (10 key stats from the first *5% of the season)

5 Up

1. Bulls are 4-0 for the first time since the 96-97 season.

  • They have shown significant signs of growth on defense, and in every game this season, they have held leads over 10 points. They still do not know how to win, and last night is proof positive of this. However, they will need struggle to grow. Learning how not to self-implode in high leverage situations is a learned skill in all fields. We should expect the Bulls to learn quite a bit from last nights loss, but they will eventually disappoint by losing. Thus far this team has taken every game they have played this season as an opportunity to get better.

2. 5th in the league in Defensive Rating 97.9

  • Their defense is for real and that will likely be their calling card as the season goes along. Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso are about as disruptive as I have seen on the wings since LeBron and DWade. They are that good.

3. 4th in Net Rating @ +10

  • The Bulls are showing they can score in bunches with their two best scorers struggling to find their rhythm. DDR is a perfect stop gap to teach LaVine how to score smartly at the end of games.

4. 1st in total steals with 41 steals; and 4th in Blocks with 26 blocks

  • Caruso leads the league in steals with 13. Vooch is 7th. Ball is 9th.
  • Lonzo is 7th in Blocks and Vooch is 18th.
  • Steals and Blocks are effort stats. This is why the defensive rating will likely remain in the top 10. We haven’t seen a Bulls team play this well defensively since Thibs.

5. 8th in True Shooting % as a team.

  • This is relevant because they aren’t even scratching the surface of their offensive potential. When Coby returns and Zach and Vooch learn how to score together at a high level the Bulls will eventually start consistently winning games by 10 points or more.

5 Down

  1. They are 15th in Offensive Rating @ 108.0

  • Zach has not been himself the last two games. Teams are going to be very physical with him and he has to accept that. At this point, he will have to demonstrate the maturity to earn baskets the hard way. I do think he hasn’t learned what DDR already knows which is you have to be savvy to earn fouls. It is not enough to be an Olympian.
  • Vooch is cold. Ice cold. He will likely bounce back, but he will never be a 20 ppg scorer on this team. If he can average 17-19 points on his career percentages, that would be great.

2. They are 20th in rebounds per game @ 41 pg.

  • Vooch is averaging 11.5 rebounds which is good for 12th
  • PWill is averaging 2.3 rebounds on 27 minutes per game.
  • Patrick is 7th on the team in rebounding behind even Alize Johnson and JaVonte Green.
  • The Bulls will not win enough games to be a top 6 seed if they cant get more rebounding from the PF position. This is something to watch closely as the season progresses.

3. They are 14th in Assists per game @ 24.5

  • For a team that should be good at sharing the ball, we still get too stagnant. We can see it when we watch the games that they miss too many open looks, and they can be sloppy with the ball. What is interesting about this stat is we are 9th (best) in TOV with 14 TOV pg.

4. Vucevic: 14.3 ppg @ 39.7% FG, 21.4% 3pt, 66.7% FT

  • We will not be a top 6 team in the east if Vooch doesn’t start playing better offensively. We need his scoring, and we need it consistently.

5. Coby White's career averages of 14.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.8apg are sorely missed.

  • I have seen a ton of conversation on trading Coby White. What is crazy to me is that we should not even be considering trading Coby at this time. He can score 14 points in his sleep. I am not sure how that narrative has grown, but it needs to stop. Coby is an elite volume three point shooter. Coby gives the Bulls so much more flexibility and it allows them to keep the floor spaced when DDR is on the floor with the second unit. We need Coby White’s scoring.

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