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Chicago Bulls feeling bullish about NBA Playoff chances

DeMar DeRozan Bulls Lakers
Photo: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS

We all know the history. Back in the 1990s, the Chicago Bulls established one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning six championships in the space of eight seasons, achieving the threepeat on of consecutive titles on two separate occasions. Led by legendary head coach Phil Jackson, this was a roster packed with superstar talents, including Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, along with fellow Hall of Fame icons Dennis Rodman and Tony Kukoc the second time around.

The Bulls never truly recovered after Jordan retired and Jackson departed for the LA Lakers, where he also coached them to huge success. The Chicago franchise went into immediate decline, going six consecutive seasons without reaching the NBA Playoffs. There was a steady return and over thirteen seasons, made the playoffs eleven times, although without genuinely threatening to become championship challenges.

Another span of doldrums returned and over the last four seasons in a row, the Bulls have slumbered again like sleeping giants, failing to reach the NBA Playoffs. Fans were inevitably running out of patience and attendances dwindled at the United Centre, the atmosphere greatly diminished at what had once been an electrifying venue. But the spark of hope appears to have returned, the Bulls are winning again and excusing the obvious pun, fans are feeling bullish about their basketball team right now.

Despite being largely ignored as potential contenders, the Bulls lead the way heading into the January schedule, top of the Eastern Conference in the NBA 2021-22 regular season standings. What makes this even more intriguing is how the dramatic turnaround has happened, led by excellent work from Bulls vice president Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley, making the most of an impressive series of trades.

Nikola Vucevic looked a smart move last season and he was quality down the stretch, even though the Bulls didn’t make it into postseason. Zach LaVine also had a breakout season and that meant the foundations were set, ready for further additions. Then came two keystone trades last summer, when the Chicago franchise went all-in for Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan, making this one of the swiftest rebuilds around. The signals were all there when the Bulls made an exceptional 5-1 start to the campaign in October.

While the November schedule at 9-7 turned out a little sketchy, December at 9-2 was a big improvement, even with the postponement of three games in the mix. At the time of writing, the Bulls are 25-10 and comfortably top of the Eastern Conference standings, along with having established an eight-game winning streak that could stretch further into January 2022. DeMar DeRozan looks like an MVP candidate, Zach LaVine is in great form and Nikola Vucevic is also hitting his stride, while Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso are both easily looking like All-Defensive Team considerations. What’s more, the Bulls are playing like genuine NBA championship contenders having rolled over several top teams, even if the leading basketball sportsbooks appear to remain reticent about their chances.

Brooklyn Nets are far and away the outright favorites for most oddsmakers, although the Chicago Bulls have beaten them twice during the 2021-22 regular season, along with several sides tipped to enjoy strong campaigns. There’s a growing sense of momentum about the Bulls, although the lack of one particular superstar appears to be weighted against them. Making the NBA Playoffs won’t be a problem, yet questions remain about how deep this team can push once they get there.

This is what makes the Bulls great value as one of the outsiders to follow carefully. But before waving your money at any of the top sportsbooks, find the safest and most secure sites. Look for online betting options that suit your own preferences, including those with the most suitable payment and withdrawal options, based upon detailed reviews and guides. If you are going to back the Bulls to succeed this year, do so by making a more informed choice.

Given how the Bulls have turned transformed themselves under new leadership, maybe all they need for a serious tilt at the NBA title is another top-quality player on the roster. Given how active the franchise has been when making trades over the last year or so, it could be a good indication that before the trade deadline this year, they are actively searching for a big-name player that could make all the difference. This could be their best shot at a championship for a long time, and an opportunity the franchise hierarchy won’t want to miss.

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