clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bulls media day recap: expect to do more with less

nothing too interesting, but not completely uninteresting

SPORTS-ARTURAS-KARNISOVAS-CONFIDENT-CHICAGO-BULLS-2-TB Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

I set the over/under on actually interesting Bulls Media Day quotes from management at 0.5. Arturas Karnisovas, independent of his acumen as a basketball executive, is boring as hell. ‘Plays it close to the vest’, perhaps, but also just not a dynamic speaker.

AK’s state of the union was delivered like he was just woken up and ordered to recite the RealGM transactions log:

And while it makes sense to say the following given the lack of activity in the offseason, this is still uninspiring stuff to hear:

The things we are going to focus on is chemistry and team cohesion and relationships because we all understand talent wins games and relationships win championships

So, yes, the theme of ‘continuity’ heading into the offseason held true through the kickoff of this one coming up.

However, Karnisovas hit the over on ‘actually interesting statement’ in describing his expectations for this year:

what we want to see is obviously improvement. We have to do better than last year. When you get to the playoffs as always things happen, certain teams missing one or two key players. You can get by a round; those are the expectations

Execution of such plans aside, continued credit to the new regime (it’ll still be ‘new’ until year ten, I’d imagine) for at least having this mindset.

And these are higher expectations than a consensus of ‘league observers’ or even a lot of Bulls fans would have. Especially in the wake of the undetermined Lonzo Ball absence (there was nothing more definitive at Media Day on that), and the increased difficulty of the Eastern Conference (there was a lot on that), we’re here trying to see ways for the Bulls to avoid the play-in tournament.

To instead actually win a playoff series? Does Karnisovas think adding two washed players (in my opinion, which colors my assessment of those additions) will not only keep the team afloat but actually have it improve over last season?

Of course, AK likely is banking on the potential for internal improvement. Zach LaVine says he’s 100% after his own offseason knee surgery. DeMar DeRozan repeatedly flipped the bird to father time, Patrick Williams is in better shape and pledges a more egalitarian offense.

The haters and doubters, like yours truly, are just so nasty and mean. But that doesn’t matter, what does is how Karnisovas feels. I could reason that he was handcuffed by ownership (and his own in-retrospect-over-aggressive moves) to be forced to rely on cliche instead of additions when it comes to selling this team’s potential for progress.

But, whatever the reason or his personal belief in it, he’s said it: not only make the playoffs, but win a playoff series.

This actually gives him an excuse when it comes to in-season moves: you can see a scenario to where as long as they’re in the playoff picture, getting Lonzo back will kind of be like a trade if you think about it. Then, even if the team is middling for much of the regular season, that ‘addition’ will potentially catapult them towards a first round upset victory. An evaluation that is only determined after the season.

And so will it take until it’s all over for Karnisovas to realize they need more talent, or will Karnisovas be evaluating during this season (even with Lonzo out) and make necessary moves if the team isn’t living up to his expectations?