It’s…

The 2nd Annual RokDeez Eats Crow: 2018-19 Edition!

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…In which we look back at the BOLD PREDICTIONS I made at the beginning of last season and see if anything I thought would happen in the NBA actually did.

Bold Prediction #1: Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks will win the Rookie of the Year Award.

Nailed it! Doncic did indeed win Rookie of the Year. While Doncic was an obvious candidate for the ROY award at the start of last season, he wasn’t necessarily the obvious favorite. Some fools were completely behind DeAndre Ayton, and there is no denying that Trae Young came on strong toward the end of the season. But through it all, Doncic put up consistent numbers and wowed the league with his heads up play and overall skill. My faith in the European phenom was well founded, and that makes me 1 for 1 in bold predictions.

Prediction #2: The Los Angeles Lakers will finish above .500 and easily make the playoffs.

NOPE! That will teach me to bet on the Lakers and LeBron. Even in the Western Conference, LeBron finds a way to play me for a fool. Sure, the former MVP was injured for a big chunk of the season, but that didn’t mean he needed to destroy team morale by asking the front office to trade all his teammates for Anthony Davis. That was selfish LeBron, petty and selfish. I’m shaking my head, and now I’m 1 for 2. Sigh.

#3: The Milwaukee Bucks will be a top 5 team in the League.

Not only were the Bucks a top 5 team in the NBA, they finished the regular season with the best record in the league! It was a breakout season for the Bucks. Behind the play of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, and Malcolm Brogdon, Milwaukee captured 60 wins and made a deep run in the playoffs, all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. All of a sudden the Bucks are poised to be the team to beat in the East, and that makes me a surprising 2 for 3 in my bold predictions.

Prediction #4: The 2018-19 MVP award will go to an Eastern Conference player.

GIANNIS! GIANNIS! GIANNIS! 3 for 4.

#5: The Philadelphia ‘76ers will make it to the NBA Finals and get swept by the Golden State Warriors.

Perhaps my boldest prediction of last season, this turned out to be a miserable prognostication. Even the combined efforts of Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, and Boban Marjanovic couldn’t propel Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to the NBA Finals. It was the strangest thing too, even after making this prediction, I found myself rooting against the ‘76ers in the playoffs. They were an awful, disorganized, mess of talent that didn’t fit together at all and were incredibly hard to cheer for. It turns out I’m not sorry this prediction failed. 3 for 5.

My first 5 predictions were about the NBA in general, these next 5 were specifically about the Bulls. Gird your loins, here’s where the fun begins.

Bold prediction #6: Jabari Parker will not have his option picked up by the Bulls at the end of the year.

The wound that is the Jabari Parker Experiment is still fresh in the hearts of the Bulls faithful. Whether you were a fan or a critic, the Parker Experiment can only be described as a failure. Fortunately, time heals all wounds, and in a decade or two Bulls fans will look back at the 2018-19 season and say, “Wait, Jabari Parker was on the Bulls for a season?” From the ashes of the JPE rises a phoenix in the form of Otto Porter Jr, let us bask in the light of a true 2-way basketball player. I’m now 4 for 6.

(I would like to point out that, as of now, I have doubled the number of correct predictions I made last year in my inaugural RokDeez Eats Crow post. Either these predictions weren’t bold enough or I’m getting better at this.)

Prediction #7: Denzel Valentine will become the back up point guard.

Oooof! That’ll knock me off my high horse. That prediction hurts a lot, just not as much as Denzel’s ankle *rim shot*. I made this prediction assuming that Valentine would prove himself the most capable off-the-bench ball handler and distributor. We never got to see that play out. Oh well, maybe next year? 4 for 7.

Prediction #8: Coach Fred Hoiberg will not be fired this season.

Poor, delusional, naive RokDeez. To be honest, I based this prediction on a faulty presumption; that the Bulls Front Office would never fire someone with years left on their contract. In reality, GarPax have made a habit of firing coaches in the middle of a season/contract. The number of coaches they’ve fired at Christmas alone must number in the hundreds (I’m too lazy to look that up, but it feels right). Yet again Hoiberg lets Bulls fans down. 4 for 8.

#9: Zach LaVine will make the All-Star Team.

This is a bittersweet prediction, because it wasn’t that far from becoming reality. Zach LaVine was outstanding for the Bulls last season. He single-handedly kept hope alive for the franchise while every other key contributor was sidelined with injuries. He dramatically improved his game in almost every facet. LaVine came into last season and definitively justified his new contract by displaying supreme athletic prowess, intelligent and efficient offense, a heightened ability to get to the rim and draw fouls, a better eye as a distributor, and even a bit more focus on defense. If he hadn’t been overwhelmed by opposing teams triple teaming him for half the season, there is no doubt in my mind Zach LaVine would have been an All-Star last season. But reality is reality, and I have one last prediction to get me to .500 this year. I’m now 4 of 9.

Bold Prediction #10, the final prediction: The Bulls will win about 32 games this season and miss the playoffs.

I want to give myself half a point for this prediction, because the Bulls did miss the playoffs, but if I did that I know my boy J-Money would @me in the comments, so no. No points awarded for this prediction. 22 wins was an extremely disappointing showing from the Chicago Bulls. Injuries, coaching changes, lack of talent, inconsistent offensive philosophies, however you want to spin it, last season was the 5th worst record for a Bulls team in the entire history of the franchise. That’s saying a lot, especially for a franchise that has hired both Tim Floyd and Vinny Del Negro as head coaches. We’ll see how fortune smiles on the Bulls this season.

That wraps it up for this years addition of RokDeez Eats Crow. At 4 out of 10, I doubled last years number of correct predictions, but still couldn’t break .500. Maybe that will change with this seasons Bold Predictions. Until then, thanks for reading and GO BULLS!