Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls coach, knows that his team has suffered from a variety of injuries. The seventh-year NBA coach is confident that his roster is healthy.
“I really felt after sitting down and talking to the front office that the hard part was, we never saw our team really hold together for a long period of time,” Donovan told Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com.
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“I think the feeling was, you know what, like, hopefully we can get healthy, and we can see what this group looks like,” said the Bulls coach.
“Last year it started about the seventh or eighth game when Patrick Williams broke his wrist, and then it kind of snowballed after that.”
Williams missed 65 games last season because of a wrist injury. In 17 games, Williams averaged 9 points and 4.1 rebound per contest. He shot 52.9% from behind the arc and 51.7% long range.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan continues to deal with injuries and hopes to lead a healthy roster soon
Lonzo Ball was also out of action since January 14, when Lonzo lost 138-96 to the Golden State Warriors. In 35 games last season, Lonzo Ball averaged 13 points and 5.4 boards. He also had 5.1 assists and 1.8 steals.
“But I think the feeling was let’s see what this looks like, you know?” continued Donovan. “So hopefully we can get whole to find out what it does look like at some point, but we haven’t been that way yet.
As I look at it, I think a lot of teams have had to deal with the same thing we’ve dealt with — maybe not to the level we have. I think we’ve had more missed games than any other team.”
Of course, Coby White missed Wednesday night’s game versus the New Orleans Pelicans. In addition to Williams’ injury, Bulls players also missed time due to COVID-19 last season.
Billy Donovan said everything is “very, very optimistic” right now regarding Lonzo Ball. Is now running in water. No timeline for return.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop), November 4, 20,22
Per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, Donovan is optimistic on Ball’s knee recovery, but the timetable for his return remains unknown.
“It’s hard, but you know what, you try to focus on what you can control and focus on the impact you can make,” added Donovan.
It is crucial for coaches in the NBA to overcome adversity. Since the 2020-21 season, Donovan’s record as the Bulls coach is 83-84 (.497) in the regular season and 1-4 (.250) in the postseason.
“Some of those players just weren’t coming back last year, and obviously we’re dealing with some of that right now with Lonzo still being out,” explained the Bulls coach.
“We’ve been without some good players, and you want them there on your roster and you want to be able to use them. When they’re not there, we’ve got to give ourselves the best opportunity to compete and put ourselves in position to win.”