The Chicago Bulls are looking to put together a complete campaign this year after falling apart down the stretch last season. Injuries destroyed the Bulls last season and eventually resulted in them crashing out of the playoffs in the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks. The hope is that they can stay healthy this season and charge up the standings in the Eastern Conference, but latest news about Lonzo Ball is messing up that plan.
The Chicago Bulls are going to be without Lonzo Ball for quite some time
Unfortunately, the Bulls are already dealing with injuries, and the season hasn't even started. Starting point guard Lonzo Ball has been out since midway through January of last season with a left knee injury and doesn't seem likely to return anytime soon. Ball is yet again undergoing surgery on his knee after it has continued to pester him this offseason, and it will likely hold him out for a good part of the upcoming campaign.
The more problematic piece came when Ball described the pain he felt that has kept him off the court. Ball mentioned that he isn't able to run or jump due to the pain he has in his leg, which has necessitated this subsequent surgery. Based on Ball's description of his injury, it doesn't necessarily sound like he's going to be making a return to the court anytime soon.
"Literally, I really can't run. I can't run or jump. There's a range from, like, 30 to 60 degrees when my knee is bent that I have, like, no force and I can't, like, catch myself. Until I can do those things I can't play," Ball said. "I did rehab, it was getting better, but it was not to a point where I could get out there and run full speed or jump. So surgery is the next step," Ball explained.
Will the Chicago Bulls be able to win without Lonzo Ball?
It's hard to ignore the fact that the Bulls' demise last season began when Ball was forced to the sidelines with his knee injury in January. Ball was a huge part of what the Bulls were doing on both sides of the court, and his ability to conduct the offense for Chicago allowed them to play their best basketball of the season.
Once Ball was out, the Bulls' offense was never the same. DeMar DeRozan had to take on a massive offensive burden, and that's obviously not going to work come playoff time. The Bulls envisioned Ball returning this season and helping them reach their top form. Instead, they will lean on Goran Dragic and Alex Caruso to pick up the slack left by Ball's absence.
Whether or not Chicago will be able to recover from Ball's absence remains to be seen. Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic have room to improve this year, and DeRozan will be looking to follow up his highly successful first year with the Bulls. But without Ball, it's clear Chicago won't reach the same heights they hit to start last season, and it will be interesting to see if he can find his way back onto the court at some point this season.