New Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan knows the challenges ahead for his new team. The new additions have brought excitement and expectations in the Windy City, but for the 12-year-veteran, it’s best to focus on what they can control.
DeMar DeRozan on handling heightened expectations
For the very first time in a long time, the Bulls’ lineup looks promising. On paper, the team could contend for the playoffs, as analyzed by Basketball News. DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Coby White, and Zach LaVine present a young, athletic core mixed with veteran talents. However, despite the improved roster, some prognosticators still see the Bulls as a mid-of-the-standings team. For DeMar, who played on rebuilding teams and playoff contenders, what matters is the willingness of players to fight through adversity.
‘‘I’ve been on teams where we were picked to be in the tank, and then we win 50 games and make it to the third seed in the Eastern Conference. I’ve heard it all. You can’t indulge in it. You can’t let history depict what your future is going to be like. You just have to go out there and set the tone and take on the challenge. With this group of guys and the talent we have, everybody is willing to take on whatever that next challenge is.’’DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Sun Times
The season has not yet started, but DeMar DeRozan’s impact on the locker room can be felt. As one of the team’s veterans, he will be relied on to give his younger teammates insights, guidance, and composure. They may not contend for the title immediately, but DeMar has planted the seeds of positive change in the minds of his teammates.
Can the Bulls compete for the finals?
There’s a big chance that the Bulls could enter the postseason, but it depends on how the other teams in the Eastern Conference perform. The Philadelphia 76ers are a top team, but can they solve the Ben Simmons issue soon? How will it affect them in the regular season?
The Boston Celtics are stuck in limbo. They haven’t signed a third star who could provide additional firepower in the offseason. Can the Bulls usurp the Sixers and the Celtics in the East Standings? For DeRozan, if they want to compete for the title, it starts inside their head.
‘‘This is an opportunity for a talented group that has a chip on their shoulders. You kind of run faster when the dog is chasing behind you. That’s the type of mentality we have to have going out there this season.’’DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Sun Times
If they can execute on both ends of the floor and the new signings can mesh well with the old-timers, there’s a good chance the Bulls could be the sleepers of the NBA this year.