According to the most recent SB Nation Reacts survey 64 percent of Bulls fans are confident the team is headed in the right direction. That’s up from 46 percent last week and 58 percent two weeks ago. After a losing streak without Zach LaVine, his return seems to be the reason for a jump in confidence among the fan base. This is for good reason as since coming off the health and safety protocols list, LaVine has been back to his usual self.
In his last five games, he’s scored over 20 points in four of them including a 41 point effort against Brooklyn on Tuesday. With Nikola Vucevic still churning out double doubles, the duo has gotten Chicago to playing a level of basketball we all had hoped to see for much of the second half of the season. Since LaVine’s return, the Bulls have won four of their last five and this stretch of play gave them a fighting chance to make the playoffs before being eliminated last night.
With the two All-Stars at the helm, the Bulls obviously looked a lot better and that is room for optimism alone. LaVine’s absence was a real blow to their playoff hopes. One has to imagine that a full year with him and Vucevic will lead to a better record and a playoff berth. While Chicago missing out on the play-in is a real gut punch, the winning streak is a small positive to bank on at the end of the season. Now it’s time to turn to the offseason to see if the front office will add to this roster and get more pieces around LaVine and Vucevic.
As the playoffs approach, the biggest surprise of the season is likely the success of the New York Knicks. For the first time since 2013, the Knicks have reached the postseason and they did so without a true superstar leading the team.
The Bulls had mixed results when playing New York this season. After winning the opening matchup back in February, they dropped their last two games against the Knicks. The most recent loss came on April 28th with Chicago being outscored 37-19 in the fourth quarter en route to a 113-94 defeat at MSG.
In place of a superstar, the team is led on the court by Julius Randle and head coach Tom Thibodeau. Both of whom fans believe will finish the season with an individual award. 69 percent of fans around the league believe Randle should win the 2020-21 Most Improved Player award.
Randle gave the Bulls problems in their most recent matchup, scoring 34 points and grabbing seven rebounds.
The next closest player, Michael Porter Jr., received 11 percent of the vote.
50 percent of national fans believe Thibodeau has earned the Coach of the Year award this season. If he does win this award, it will be his second time receiving it after he won it in 2011 with Chicago. Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams took 23 percent.
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