Bulls Predicted to Finish Above Knicks in Latest NBA Win Totals

Zach LaVine is looking to lead the Bulls to the playoffs.
Zach LaVine is looking to lead the Bulls to the playoffs. / Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Lonzo Ball, DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso and Derrick Jones Jr. are all heading to Chicago for the 2021-22 NBA season, and oddsmakers are buying that the Chicago Bulls will be one of the NBA’s most improved teams next season. 

The Bulls faded in the playoff race last season after trading for Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline (go figure), but they are expected to be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference this season, as they have a higher projected win total (42.5) than the New York Knicks (41.5) who were the No. 4 seed in the East last season. 

Chicago has -116 odds to hit the over on that win total at WynnBET Sportsbook while the Knicks (-110) appear to be behind the Bulls in the eyes of Vegas. 

Bulls’ Guard Play Sees Major Upgrade

The Bulls fixed their biggest problem this offseason by bringing in Ball, Caruso and Jones Jr. as the team’s perimeter defense was severely lacking with Zach LaVine and Coby White as the team’s top backcourt duo. 

White and LaVine provide the team with a ton of offense, and LaVine is the Bulls’ best player, but they were really bad defensively in the 2020-21 season, as Pippen Ain’t Easy’s Andrew Miller explained in a story during April. 

White (115), LaVine (114) and Tomas Satoransky (114) had the three worst defensive ratings per 100 possessions on the roster last season, so adding defensive-minded players alongside them will help mitigate their weaknesses. 

Ball is also an important addition as he’s a true pass-first point guard that has improved as a 3-point shooter each season, a major contrast from White’s score-first mentality. He’s a better complement to LaVine, and it should allow White and Caruso to thrive in a bench unit. 

DeMar DeRozan Will Take Pressure Off Zach LaVine

The addition of DeRozan gives the Bulls another proven scorer, and one that can create his own shot in the mid-range. Vucevic is a solid complement to LaVine, but in a league that relies on perimeter shot creation, there’s only so much a center can do. 

Enter DeRozan. While he isn’t a great 3-point shooter, Ball and Caruso help fill that void in the Bulls’ offense. Patrick Williams was also solid from beyond the arc as a rookie (39.1 percent), so DeRozan can play his game in Chicago. 

How DeRozan and LaVine mesh on the floor together will be Billy Donovan’s biggest project this season, but if the Bulls find the right mix it could help LaVine take another step after an extremely impressive 2020-21 season.

Bulls Win Total Prediction

In an 82-game season, the first since 2018-2019 for the NBA due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 42.5 wins is just barely over .500. 

Chicago is projected to hit the over, but after watching it wilt last season, I can see why oddsmakers didn’t get too aggressive with their projection for the Bulls. 

I’m not sure if Chicago is in the same tier as the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics in the East, but the Bulls and Knicks are both looking to solidify themselves in that conversation. 

I wouldn’t bet on it just yet, but I’d lean towards the over on the Bulls win projection, as there’s a ton of talent on the roster, it just depends on if Donavan can make it work. 

Where do you see the Bulls finishing this season? Download the WynnBET app to make your pick.