2015-2016 Record: 42-40
After trading Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks in June, the Bulls looked to have entered a rebuilding phase following a disappointing year in 2015-2016, but all that went out the window with the signings of Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade.
The signing of Wade from under the Miami Heat’s nose came as a surprise not only because of its unexpectedness, but also because the Bulls already featured two ball-dominant, non-shooting guards in Rondo and homegrown franchise star Jimmy Butler.
The trio, of which Butler and Wade both attended Marquette University, combined to make only 133 three-pointers last season, which becomes especially problematic when considering head coach Fred Hoiberg has ran an offense predicated on a heavy volume of outside shots at Iowa State and previous coaching stops.
In the modern three-point happy league, there isn’t a lot of precedent for a roster constructed as such, but on paper each of the three brings much talent to the table individually.
Even so, this lack of shooting ability bodes well for the Bucks’ defense, as Milwaukee was particularly weak defending the three-ball last year, giving up 28 points per game from behind the arc, good for only 25th in the NBA. The arrival of Matthew Dellavedova will presumably help fix this flaw, but it’s still likely to be a troublesome spot.
Bucks fans will also be initially relieved to hear that perennial thorn-in-the-side Mike Dunleavy will not be on the Bulls’ roster next year, although as we’ll see later, he has not gone far. The Bulls may have improved their team in terms of pure talent threshold, but how it will work on the court is beyond anyone’s accurate assessment.
Milwaukee finished with just a 1-3 record against their rivals just 90 miles away last season, and considering there is presumably no love lost between the two franchises, Bulls games will be must watch television next season for Bucks fans as they project to gain ground on their Chicago foes.
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