‘Tis the season for Bulls to face some ghosts from the past

DeMar DeRozan analogies have been growing into legendary status since his arrival to the Bulls in the 2021 offseason.

Most are spot on for the veteran forward, giving the media a clearer idea of what exactly DeRozan was thinking or feeling at that moment.

But every so often? It’s more of a one-way ticket to some wild journey into his mind that ends up with DeRozan laughing out loud as it spirals.

The All-Star was right on when describing the Eastern Conference at the start of camp, however.

“I love the competitive island that the East is on,” DeRozan said. “That’s what brings the best out of you when you have the best around you. You have to compete. For me, people get so caught up in the rankings, you put me in a room with the best, it brings out the best in me.”

Then came analogy time.

“There are no nights off,” DeRozan added. “That’s how you want it. You don’t want to go to the movies and watch 10 movies and they’re all crappy movies. I want to see all blockbuster thrillers.”

Unfortunately for DeRozan and his teammates, on some upcoming nights the movie genre will be a horror film, and each of these teams that finished better than the Bulls last season has a Michael Myers who should keep them on their toes.

Milwaukee Bucks – 2021-22 record against the Bulls (including playoffs): 8-1 – Michael Myers: Grayson Allen

Throw the numbers out the window. It was Allen who completely derailed Alex Caruso’s inaugural season with the Bulls, all but tackling him in mid-air in a Jan. 21 meeting, leaving the guard with a fractured wrist. Scoring-wise, the Bulls held Allen in check during the regular season, as his 8.8 points per game in the four meetings was more than two points under his average.

Where Allen haunted the Bulls was in the postseason, going for 22 and 27 in Games 3 and 4, respectively, while shooting a blistering 58.3% from three in the five games it took to eliminate the Bulls.

Boston Celtics – 2021-22 record against the Bulls: 2-1 – Michael Myers: Al Horford

Whether it was the matchup or just the way the Bulls played Horford defensively, the then-35-year-old turned back the clock in the three meetings. His 17.3 points per game was the highest scoring average against any other NBA team last season, as well as shooting 53.8% from three.

Philadelphia 76ers – 2021-22 record against the Bulls: 4-0 – Michael Myers: Joel Embiid

Forget just last season and the 32.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game he averaged against the Bulls. Embiid has never lost to the Bulls since coming into the Association. That’s an unbelievable 11 meetings and 11 wins, averaging 29.5 points, 11.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks in that span. He is the matador.

Miami Heat – 2021-22 record against the Bulls: 4-0 – Michael Myers: Duncan Robinson

Since being traded away by Gar/Pax back in 2017, Jimmy Butler is 7-3 against his former team, averaging 24.6 points in those 10 meetings. It was Robinson who gave the Bulls problems last year, however, not only averaging 14.8 points per game – his season average was 10.9 – but shooting 40% from three and 47.6% from the field.

Toronto Raptors – 2021-22 record against the Bulls: 1-2 – Michael Myers: O.G. Anunoby

Anunoby developed into a solid player in Year 5 last season, averaging 17.1 points and 2.6 assists per game. But when facing the Bulls, he kicked it up a notch, scoring 22 points per game, and really finding it easy to play-make against that defense. His 5.0 assists per game against the Bulls was the highest against any other team.

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