A first-round exit is not what the Chicago Bulls envisioned back in January.
The Bulls were 27-13 and held the top spot in the Eastern Conference, but injuries and a difficult second-half schedule led to Chicago quickly being forced to compete to stay out of the play-in tournament. While they were able to do that, they quickly found themselves overmatched against the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.
The downward spiral in the standings coincided with Lonzo Ball injuring his right knee in mid-January. With Ball out of the lineup, Chicago went 19-23 and saw a steep decline on the defensive end.
The Bulls now enter the offseason with the focus on getting Ball healthy, re-signing All-Star Zach LaVine and adding via the draft.