A look into the lineups of 3 Eastern Conference teams.
- The Chicago Bulls are playing much improved basketball this season thanks to bringing in a number of talented players. Nikola Vucevic & Javonte Green were added during the trade deadline back in late March, which followed with more quality additions over the summer that included DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and Ayo Dosunmu. As for Chicago’s returners, Zach LaVine continues to play efficient basketball, and youngsters like Patrick Williams and Coby White have embraced their roles. Unfortunately, the Bulls lost Williams after 5 games to a left wrist injury, but have made up for his absence with the energy of Derrick Jones Jr. & Tony Bradley in short minutes. The club has certainly proved enough on both ends to be a 2022 playoff team, but not having solid rim protection or a versatile guy to guard stars with size/athleticism could become problematic at some point for head coach Billy Donovan.
- The Washington Wizards were another team who made significant moves during the trade deadline and NBA offseason. Washington first brought in Daniel Gafford last season, which later came with adding Spencer Dinwiddie, Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell, Aaron Holiday, and Corey Kispert a few months ago. The new pieces have fit in well next to returning players like Bradley Beal, Raul Neto, Deni Avdija, and Davis Bertans, as the Wizards have gotten off to a 13-7 start while they still wait for the season debuts of Rui Hachimura & Thomas Bryant. Two major keys going forward for first year head coach Wes Unseld Jr. to keep winning will be consistency from his starters and team defense.
- The Charlotte Hornets’ high powered offense has been a tough cover early on. Charlotte is averaging 114.2 PPG, which is just behind the Golden State Warriors (114.5 PPG) at 2nd best in the NBA. Returning Hornets such as LaMelo Ball, Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier, and Gordon Hayward have put up a large amount of the team’s points/assists to go along with experienced bench play from PJ Washington, Jalen McDaniels, and Cody Martin. New offseason additions Mason Plumlee, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Ish Smith are also big reasons for their successful start, but one flaw Charlotte most definitely faces is their defense. Head coach James Borrego likes using small ball lineups quite often, mostly due to the lack of size on his roster, and that has resulted in high scoring shootouts from the mismatches & poor paint presence on D.