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2023-24 Bulls schedule to feature same team taking on same opponents
NBA franchise contractually obligated to field a roster and play the season
I am trying my best to stay off Twitter nowadays and ultimately rid myself of the addiction. It’s been a sporadic yet consistent decline of posting, where long periods are spent only using it to try and send traffic to this blog (usually 5-10% of incoming links). There also isn’t much to read on there, though lately that is more a function of two factors to my online experience moreso than general deterioration of the service:
it’s the dead part of the NBA calendar
the Bulls are one of the least interesting teams in the league
But I did peek there today as it was one of the contrived ‘news’-generating days of the offseason, the ::drumroll:: schedule release ::womp-womp::
Darnell Mayberry tweeted something that seemed generated by a bot:
The Chicago Bulls’ 2023-24 schedule will be released at 1 p.m. central time today. What are you most looking forward to this season from the Bulls?
Follow-up replies indicated this was not a troll job but a genuine question. And I am bereft of answers.
A season schedule is not inherently interesting. All teams’ slates are pretty much balanced throughout, outside of a slight emphasis on inter-division matchups. Positive Residual has done some work on the intricacies of rest days, and it looks like the Bulls do have a slight break in that they have the fewest number of ‘rest disadvantage’ games this season. They have one fewer set of back-to-backs than some, but one more than others. It’s home-heavy to start the season.
Again, not much difference team-to-team, and there is such little predictive quality because the teams treat the regular season like pre-playoffs, and we won’t know in mid-August what star is resting or been traded.
And worse, the Bulls empowered a lead decisionmaker who not only doesn’t acknowledge this, but goes the other way and informs his self-scouting with meager-bordering-on-arbitrary metrics like ‘we went 14-9 after the All-Star Break’, or subjective-yet-not-even-correct others like ‘we were a tough out against good teams’.
Through his words and moves, we know Arturas Karnisovas is content operating in This League’s second division. It’s why he touts other teams being worse before his team being that good. And why it was obvious when after this past draft he gave smug responses to legitimate questions about the bind he put his team under when it came to improvement: it wasn’t hiding some secret big plan, it was that he knows his vision is not of a contender but a play-in participant, and “solid” moves would be an achievable goal.
And the initial moves were indeed solid! But there was still some speculation, based partially on AK’s attitude in that press conference, that the Bulls would make a bigger strike. Lots of pointless cap calculations of incentives, raises, and exceptions plus looking at their room under the first apron a.k.a. the hard cap. My advice instead when calculating the Bulls payroll: start where they’re ultimately under the Luxury Tax, and work backwards.
When you speculate on filling out the Bulls roster from that perspective first and foremost, it was a given that they were going to sign (at most) one more player, and for the minimum. I was incorrect in believing it’d be for a veteran, as instead the last Bulls deal of the summer went to Terry Taylor, who the Bulls had for a couple months on a two-way contract last season. The upside to signing such a non-established player is that they could partially guarantee the contract. I’d expect one or both of Taylor and Carlik Jones to not make the team and have their contract fully off the books.
AK said post-draft, in response to a question about fan sentiment towards his job performance, to hold off on judgement until after free agency.
It was an empty statement, and only delivered ‘confidently’ because he knows he doesn’t have to answer to the fanbase except for 2-3 predesignated times per year (the next one is at media day).
And if actually pressed in judging his job performance: he genuinely thinks his team is good enough, and he only improved it. Using his internal assessment tools: he may be right.
But looking at it more objectively and with higher standards: by performance they’re looking like 7th-11th place in the second-best conference (schedule analysis from BlogABull dot com: for the 25th year in a row, they greatly benefit from being in the East), and based on what Darnell asked regarding “looking forward to” it’s even worse: we also saw the schedule for national television, and the 3rd biggest market in the league is near the bottom.
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