The 2017 World Series is behind us, and it’s clear that the Yankees won. But for a few days there in October, baseball was about something else: redemption. After getting swept by the Astros last year, New York looked like they were on the cusp of their first championship since 2009… until then-rookie sensation Aaron Judge offered up just two runs in his two games of work (and with an average below .200!). So what happened from here? The Yankees went on to win Game Seven against LHP CC Sabathia after giving him an absolute thrashing during his start earlier that day.

“I Will Admit, I Was Wrong” is a word for someone who won’t admit they are wrong. The phrase is usually said by an athlete after winning or losing a game.

'I Will Admit, I Was Wrong'

Many people expected that the Chicago Bulls will make the playoffs in 2021-22. Few predicted that they would lead the Eastern Conference only a few days into the new year.

Following Friday’s victory against the Washington Wizards, Chicago is now 26-10. The Bulls’ year-over-year improvement, led by two possible All-Stars in DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, is reminiscent of last year’s Phoenix Suns club, who stunned the world en way to the NBA Finals. Former NBA sharpshooter JJ Redick recently highlighted how the Bulls of this season remind him of the unexpected Suns of previous season in a number of ways.

The Chicago Bulls have won nine straight games.

The Bulls are still leading the Eastern Conference pack, despite clubs like the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks chasing them down.

Chicago has won nine of its previous ten games after losing back-to-back games in early December. The Bulls scored 130 points or more in four of those games, including Friday’s 130-122 victory against Washington. Several of Chicago’s wins have been blowouts, but the team has also come out on top in a couple nail-biters. Just ask DeRozan, who created NBA history by hitting back-to-back game-winning threes at the buzzer.

Chicago’s winning run is the longest of the season, but it’s far from over. As the season approaches the midway mark, the Bulls have never lost more than two games in a row. Their offensive rating of 112.7 is fourth in the league this season, while their defensive rating of 108.8 is 13th. Not bad for a squad that ranked 19th in offensive rating last season and 27th the year before.

Since joining the franchise in the spring of 2020, Arturas Karnisovas, the team’s executive vice president of basketball operations, has completely rebuilt Chicago’s roster. Karnisovas has helped the Bulls right the ship after four consecutive losing seasons by acquiring Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and DeRozan since taking control.

JJ Redick likened the Bulls to the Phoenix Suns from last season.

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On the most recent edition of The Old Man and the Three, Redick began by pointing out some interesting parallels between this year’s Bulls and the Suns from last year. But first, he conceded to his co-host Tommy Alter that he made the error of underestimating the Bulls.

“I’ll eat my crow here, Tommy,” Redick sheepishly replied, “you were correct about the Bulls last summer.” “I mocked you for believing the Bulls had won the offseason. … I’ll own it: I was mistaken.”

After that, Redick, a 15-year veteran who retired last September, took listeners through a detailed analysis of the Bulls and Suns, beginning with franchise pillars Zach LaVine and Devin Booker.

“Devin Booker had never played in the playoffs until [Chris Paul] moved to Phoenix. And there was a lot of speculation about whether he could be a great player on a great team,” Redick said. “Obviously, it was incorrect. And I believe Devin and Zach LaVine are comparable in that regard.”

Since joining the NBA in 2014, LaVine has yet to participate in the playoffs, as Redick subsequently pointed out. But the two shooting guards weren’t the only oddity he found.

“The Suns signed CP [and] the Bulls signed DeMar at similar periods in their careers,” Redick remarked. “The Suns add Jae Crowder, who has a hard-nosed, winning-play mindset, and the Bulls do the same with Caruso. There are statistical similarities between Deandre Ayton and Nikola Vucevic.”

“Last year, there weren’t high hopes for the Suns…. I don’t believe anybody expected the Suns to make the Finals, and I don’t think anyone expected the Bulls to be in first place in the East after [36] games.”

When addressing commonalities, Alter also brought up the head coaches. Billy Donovan coached the Oklahoma City Thunder for five seasons before joining the Bulls. Monty Williams, who is currently in his third season with Phoenix, was Donovan’s top assistant in 2015-16, his first year on the job.

Could the Bulls face the Suns in the NBA Finals this year?

Warriors, Suns, Jazz, and Bulls are the four NBA clubs with winning percentages above.700.

— (@InsideHoops) January 4, 2022

Redick is clearly on to something. Both the Suns and the Bulls started their respective seasons with postseason hopes after years of losing. Both burst above what most people expected, owing to significant experienced signings and a well-respected head coach guiding the way.

Is it possible that these two clubs will meet in the NBA Finals? It wouldn’t come as much of a surprise at this point.

The Bulls and Suns lead their respective conferences heading into Saturday. Phoenix’s Paul-Booker duo, as well as Chicago’s DeRozan-LaVine duo, are among the finest in the NBA. There’s also a degree of postseason experience that each club now has, with Phoenix coming off a trip to the Finals last season and DeRozan and Caruso providing Chicago with much-needed experience.

Among terms of field goal and 3-point percentage, both clubs are in the top five in the league. Furthermore, each team has kept things tight at home, losing just four games in their own arenas.

Of course, the Bulls, like the Suns, will have stiff competition for a position in the NBA Finals. However, these teams meeting off in the final would be the ideal illustration of how they came to be in contention in comparable ways.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics.

RELATED: How Zach Lavine and the Chicago Bulls Became One of the NBA’s Most Surprising Teams

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“I Will Admit, I Was Wrong” is a sports article that discusses the decision of a professional athlete to admit he was wrong. The article includes a list of synonyms for “admitting you’re wrong”. Reference: admitting you’re wrong synonym.

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