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Can the Chicago Bulls earn a playoff berth without Lonzo Ball?

Pundits think the Bulls are in for a wild, rollercoaster ride this season
Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball

Lonzo Ball

The Chicago Bulls are in a tight spot. With starting point guard Lonzo Ball undergoing another knee surgery, placing him on the sidelines indefinitely, the team has to figure out how to traverse the upcoming 2022-2023 without him. Zach Lowe and Kendrick Perkins shared their thoughts on what the Bulls' playoff chances look like. Hint: they don't look good.

Grim prediction

Entering the new season, the Bulls were expected to be in the thick of things for supremacy in the Eastern Conference. However, that was before they got the unfortunate news of Ball's surgery. Now, many are wondering if the team can still make a push for the playoffs without their star point guard.

Zach Lowe of ESPN doesn't think so. In fact, he's downright pessimistic about the Bulls' chances.

"I'm a little worried about the Bulls. They traded a lot of picks to build this team. They were outscored last season with Demar DeRozan and Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic on the floor. They're gonna get good young players—Ayo Dosunmo, Pat Williams—they should improve. That will help. But look, you can list these eight teams in the East: Boston, Milwaukee, Philly, Miami, Toronto, Cleveland, Atlanta, Brooklyn. That's eight teams. Is Chicago better than any of them?" said Lowe.

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Perk agrees

Kendrick Perkins also agreed with Lowe, explaining that Ball's impact on both ends of the floor and the void he now leaves will be too much for the Bulls to overcome. So much so that they'll be lucky to make it to the play-in tournament.

"We talk about the effect that he has on the offensive end, being able to be the floor general, being able to push the pace, being able to get everybody involved. On the defensive side of things, we forget how he locks in on the defensive side as far as being able to guard the point position. And he's big enough to guard the twos and threes in this game. And when I look at Chicago, I just don't see them being a top-six team in the Eastern Conference," said the former NBA big man.

It remains to be seen if the Bulls can prove Lowe and Perkins wrong. But with the way things are looking, it's going to be an uphill battle for them. They'll need every bit of help they can get to make the playoffs without Lonzo Ball.

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