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Robin Lopez thinks Bulls will be a playoff contender next season

Bulls, Robin Lopez

The Chicago Bulls struggled to find a rhythm this season. In fact, their 21-57 overall record is currently ranked 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite this fact, Robin Lopez believes the Bulls will be a playoff contender next season.

Following Monday night’s 113-105 loss to the Knicks on Monday night, Lopez spoke with reporters about Chicago’s potential:

“I genuinely do,” Lopez told Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times when asked if he thinks the Bulls can make the playoffs next season.

Injuries played a role in Chicago’s poor showing throughout this campaign — a fact that Lopez touched on during his media availability:

“Obviously, you never want to blame injuries in this league,” Lopez said. “Those happen. But it took us awhile to get our core guys together, and just knowing how the season has felt the last couple of months, the feeling in this locker room, this group could do some special things.”

It’s not clear if Lopez will be with the Bulls next season, as he is up for free agency this summer. Regardless, the 31-year-old center has a gut feeling that Chicago will be in contention:

“I think we’ve had… there’s just been a different feel around the locker room these last couple of months,” Lopez said. “Sometimes you gotta go by that gut feeling.

“When things start to jell a little bit, players start to get that feeling, like, ‘OK, I see our direction, I see what we need to do.'”

The Bulls need to improve quite a bit if they truly hope to make the playoffs next season, but Lopez clearly thinks it’s within the realm of possibility.