Lonzo Ball was terrific in his first season with the Chicago Bulls … when he was on the court. Unfortunately for both sides, he only played 35 games for them. He averaged 13.0 points and 5.1 assists while setting career highs in steals per game with 1.8 and in 3-point percentage with 42.3 percent. A knee injury ended his season prematurely.
With Ball, the Bulls went 22-13, which constituted a winning percentage of 62.8 percent. Over the course of the season, the Bulls won 56.1 percent of their games. It’s clear that Ball had a strong impact on the team this season. Before he went down, Chicago had one of the best records in the league. Their skid down the Eastern Conference standings occurred when he was sidelined.
For the first time since injuring his knee in January, Ball spoke to reporters about his rehab. He said that he is at a “standstill” and that he is still experiencing pain. The Bulls guard didn’t rule out the possibility of needing another surgery after undergoing a procedure for a torn meniscus in January:
We just spoke with Lonzo Ball for first time since his knee surgery in late January. Said his rehab is at a "standstill" and that he will visit a specialist next week to consider next steps. Still having pain
On possibility of another operation: "I'm not sure. Hopefully not." pic.twitter.com/L1xdNxKf1R
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) April 28, 2022
Initially, the Bulls’ plan was just to get him reacclimated and let him gradually increase his endurance, with the hope of getting him back for the playoffs. Instead, his injury seems worse than anticipated thanks to a troublesome bone bruise. Chicago will have all offseason to get him right, but it is disappointing to see him make such little progress.
Ball meshed beautifully with Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. He brought much-needed defense along with Alex Caruso in addition to great shooting and playmaking. The Bulls will need him back in order to become a true threat.