Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?
The bad? OK, here goes: The Bulls weren’t going to win the NBA title even if the coronavirus-shortened season had gone the distance.
Yeah, we probably should’ve told you to sit down first. Sorry about that.
But the good? Championships are coming, baby.
Just take a gander at this week’s “Polling Place” results on Twitter. After news broke that the Bulls had lured Arturas Karnisovas away from the Nuggets to steer their ship, fans here were instantly stoked. The name of the Good Ship GarPax has already been painted over, and the Bulls are Karni-val cruising.
“Dust off the trophy case!” answered nearly half of those who voted with their forecasts for Karnisovas’ reign as vice president of basketball operations. Who knew it would be so easy?
Understandably, not everyone was convinced.
“How can you judge somebody who hasn’t even been with the Bulls for a day yet?” commented @PeterMedema1.
Judge? No, that comes later. Predictions come beforehand.
Let’s have a look:
It's time again for the @suntimes_sports "Polling Place." Selected comments will appear in Saturday's paper.— Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) April 9, 2020
No. 1 : Which best sums up your prediction for how the Arturas Karnisovas era with the Bulls will go?
Upshot: Do fans realize the man isn’t allowed to bring Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray from Denver with him? It’ll take some tough calls with the current roster, some key additions, likely a coaching change and more for this Bulls experiment to work — let alone to result in a championship parade.
Who would've won the NBA title had the 2019-20 season played out?— Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) April 9, 2020
Upshot: Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks had the league’s best record when the shutdown came, but LeBron James and the Lakers were widely perceived as the favorites. The words “LeBron” and “James” probably had a lot to do with that. But what about the Clippers and their impressive depth and toughness? What about the East’s and West’s other contenders? Few would’ve bet on the Raptors last April.
If neither Ayo Dosunmu nor Kofi Cockburn returns to Illinois, where will that leave the Illini next season?— Steve Greenberg (@SLGreenberg) April 9, 2020
Upshot: How little faith the masses have in the Illini. Then again, one decent season in seven years minus the pair of players most responsible for it equals trouble. Maybe Dosunmu or Cockburn will stick around? Heck, maybe they both will, in which case you can forget about any bubble and start talking about a firm spot in the preseason top 10 nationally.