Four games into the season might be a little too early to start judging teams but the Chicago Bulls look really good. With the newest additions to the roster in DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso it’s apparent that these three needed little to no time to fit right in.
In all seriousness, Lonzo seems the most comfortable and efficient I’ve seen him in his career. He’s found a place where he isn’t being hit with adversity, shooting the best he’s shot in his career (38% from three, and 45% overall), and is getting after it on the defensive end. Zo is one of the few pass-first guards in the league and we all should start to appreciate what he gives to this team.
With DeRozan, I lean toward the Jimmy Butler comparison but a better scorer overall. He’s arguably the second option on offense and is averaging 22.5 points on mostly mid-range jumpers. We haven’t seen someone master the art of the midrange quite like him in a very long time.
On the contrary, this Bulls team is letting him get looks and taking a step back. Think about Gordon Hayward and his situation in Charlotte … he’s the “old vet” who is surrounded by young talent. The level of respect is the same with the Bulls this season. Guys are sacrificing for the better of the team.
Caruso is an energizer bunny and I can’t remember a time where he didn’t give 110% effort on a play. More importantly, he’s happy to be in Chicago and is accepting his role with ease. Seeing 27 minutes a game (career-high), Caruso leads that second unit fluently. His plus-minus is +17.72 when he’s on the court and is shooting a healthy 60% from three on 50% from the field. Lastly, Caruso doesn’t try to force anything or do too much. Seeing two to six shots a game he knows his role and doesn’t try to play outside of it at any point. Three games in and he’s worth every penny of that contract.
Looking ahead franchise centerpiece Zach LaVine should be happy with the way management has accommodated the all-star. It started with making the move to acquire Vucevic from Orlando and it’s been a positive trend since.
From a statistical standpoint, LaVine hasn’t changed much and is still the productive, offensive animal he’s been last season. The difference is he’s getting much more help from his supporting cast. Although I will note he’s shooting the best in his career and that is most likely coming off of looks from Ball.
Overall, Chicago set out to be more competitive and the plan is working thus far. Anything can happen as it’s extremely early in the season, but let’s see if Chicago can keep it up. I hope i’m not back here in two weeks eating my words.