NBA

Bulls have 'unfinished business' ahead of new NBA season, says Drummond

By Sports Desk October 20, 2023

The Chicago Bulls have "unfinished business" after missing out on the NBA Playoffs in five of the last six seasons, according to Andre Drummond.

The Bulls were expected to improve on a promising 2021-22 term this time last year, but they finished 40-42 for the regular season before missing out on the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago were beaten by the Miami Heat in April's play-in tournament, bringing a premature end to an inconsistent campaign in which they never once posted a four-game winning streak.

Their woes were compounded by seeing guard Lonzo Ball sit out the entire season with a knee injury which has now required multiple surgeries. Having last taken to the court in January 2022, Ball will also miss the 2023-24 campaign after being forced to undergo a cartilage transplant.

Despite Ball's absence, Drummond believes Chicago can look forward to a more positive time of things this season, having kept a familiar core intact. 

"It's definitely been one of my better offseasons, I feel like I got a lot done," Drummond told Stats Perform. "I got some good insight into what is expected of me, so that's what I worked on this summer.

"With the Bulls I feel like we have some unfinished business, which is one of the reasons why I ended up coming back here to Chicago, picking up my player option. 

"We started off really good at the beginning of last year, and I feel like we let a lot of things slip, some due to injuries and some due to just not really having any real chemistry yet.

"Losing Lonzo, a lot of our decision-making has been spread out throughout our team, for guys that aren't used to doing it.

"I think with a year under our belts now, we know how each other play and we know each other a little bit better, we will be able to really build that chemistry."

In June, two-time All Star Drummond exercised his $3.36million option to remain with the Bulls, who open their season at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday.

He will again be teaming up with Nikola Vucevic, who signed a three-year, $60m contract extension with Chicago in June, and Drummond is enjoying working with his fellow center.

"The relationship I have with Vuch is unique because he's somebody I've battled against for almost a decade, just playing against this guy year in, year out," Drummond said.

"Then being team-mates with him now and just seeing him on a day-to-day basis, I just really formed a new respect for him, watching how hard he works and how he prepares for each and every game. 

"Being here with him has been a lot of fun. We have two different games, which is why our games work together on the same team. 

"He's more of the outside shooter and I'm more of the brute force down low that gets all the rebounds and does all the dirty work, so our games clash very well."

Vucevic averaged 17.6 points, 11 rebounds and 3.2 assists while playing in all 82 games throughout 2022-23, also shooting 52 per cent from the field, his highest rate since 2014-15.

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