New Year's Resolutions for (most) every Bulls player


Wake up, Bulls fans! It's 2020, and with the New Year comes opportunity to assess, atone and improve. At 13-21 and on the outside looking in on the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Bulls are in the market for all of that and more.

Here are some resolutions/goals (however you choose to think about it) for most every player on the team for the rest of the 2019-20 season:

Tomas Satoransky: Account for 25+ points per game

Hot out of the gates, here, but it's not as crazy as it sounds. Between the points he scores and the points he assists on, Satoransky is currently accounting for 24.2 Bulls points per game this season. Toss in an extra field goal or two here, an assist or two there and we're well past this number. Satoransky is the most reliable decision-making ballhandler on the team — more shots and (successful) passes by him takes a slice of the offensive load off Zach LaVine's shoulders and makes the team better. 

Zach LaVine: Get to the dang All-Star game

Whether this season ends with a playoff berth or ping-pong balls, dueling sects of the Bulls' fanbase can come together on this.

LaVine improved his case over the month of December, averaging 25.1 points, 5.4. rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals on good volume (19 FGA/g. 8.4 3PA/g) and solid efficiency considering the context of his offensive responsibilities (42.1% from the field, 39.3% from 3). His penchant for late-game heroics and historic scoring spurts will help, too. Against stiffer competition in January, if LaVine can hover around his December averages — and if the Bulls can creep closer to .500 — he might have a shot in a crowded reserve field.

The dunk contest would be solid consolation, but a straight All-Star berth in Chicago's first time hosting the game since 1988 would be a fun development in an up-and-down season.

Kris Dunn: Lead the league in steals per game

It's hard to poke too many holes in Dunn's play so far, outside of his 3-point shooting. His insertion into the starting lineup has vaulted the Bulls' defensive efficiency and his steal-happy ways spark an unnatural amount of the team's offense. 

'Make an All-Defense' team felt too lofty for this exercise, but surpassing Ben Simmons (currently 2.2 steals per game) in steals by the end of the season is doable. Dunn's average is currently 2.1, and he's the only player in the top six averaging less than 33 minutes per game. Don't put anything past him.

Lauri Markkanen: Pump up the volume

Markkanen found himself in December. Now, it's time to keep building. 

In 20 games between October and November, he averaged 11.5 field goal attempts per game. In December: 12.2. And his shooting splits jumped from a paltry 34.9/28.2/81.3 to 50.8/41.6/83.3.

From a volume perspective, though, he still isn't close to the 15.3 attempts he averaged in his sophomore campaign. He might not get there on the 2019-20 season overall, but steady efficiency on continued month-over-month volume improvements would be welcome. As an aside: a minutes bump is probably in order.

Wendell Carter Jr.: Average one 3PA per game the rest of the way

I think this is pretty reasonable, as far as resolutions go. Carter is currently averaging 0.7 per game on the season (similar to his injury-shortened rookie campaign), but has taken a 3 in six of his last eight games. Give the people what they want, Wendell. For the spacing!

Coby White: Climb above 40% shooting

Reckless Coby — who might go 4-for-16 one game and set a Bulls franchise record for 3-pointers in a quarter the next (a two-game stretch that actually happened in November) — is truly a tremendous amount of fun.

But responsible, crafty, pick-your-spots, finish-through-contact Coby has a chance to be special:

Not asking for much here. White is currently shooting 37% from the field on 11.4 attempts per game. If we're over 40% by the end of the year, I'm running with it. 

Thad Young: Finish at the rim at a league-average clip

It's fair to say this season hasn't gone as expected for Thad Young. He's averaging his lowest minutes per game total (21.7) since his rookie year and shooting an abysmal 39.3% from the field (he's never finished a season under 45%).

His finishing around the rim provides a glaring area for improvement. This season, Young is shooting 49% in the restricted area, woefully below the league average 62.3%. Whether he sticks around or ends up being traded away, bringing that up helps all parties.

Denzel Valentine + Ryan Arcidiacono: Combine to shoot 40% from deep

Valentine and Arcidiacono's minutes have both fluxed as the season has progressed, but if, as a sparkplug bench entity, they continue to hit their open ones, they're doing their job. The tandem is currently shooting a combined 39.7% from deep on 4.3 attempts per game, so this is more of a 'keep it up' type resolution than anything.

For the team: Pick up a caveat-free win

The Bulls finished the month of December with a 7-7 record, and .500 basketball is a step in the right direction for this team. But they still lack in the ‘signature victory’ department — comeback barrages against the Hornets and Wizards and blowouts over the Pistons, Hawks and Grizzlies (who account for eight of the Bulls’ 13 wins) are great, but marred by quality of opponent. Their lone victory this season against a winning team, thrilling as it was, was against a depleted Clippers squad.

January brings a litany of chances to pick up a victory of unassailable regard. If the playoffs are the goal, it's time to nab a couple.

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