Dunn Robbed of All-Defensive Team Selection, Donovan Not Everyone's First Choice, and Other Bulls Bits | Bleacher Nation

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Dunn Robbed of All-Defensive Team Selection, Donovan Not Everyone’s First Choice, and Other Bulls Bits

Chicago Bulls

I’m debating whether or not I should workout a little extra over the next couple of days. I mean, not only will I be on my ass watching football for many hours soon, but I’ll surely be eating many greasy, football-related snacks. Maybe I’ll have the girlfriend dangle an italian beef on a stick while I do some sit-ups and watch the Bears.

•   Hello? Yes, I would like to report a robbery. What happened? Oh, the NBA robbed Kris Dunn of All-Defensive team selection. 

•   I don’t believe many of us expected Dunn to edge out either Ben Simmons or Marcus Smart for one of the two First Team guard slots, but a case could’ve easily been made that he deserved a spot on the Second Team roster. As solid as both Eric Bledsoe and Patrick Beverley have proven to be in recent years, Dunn came out of nowhere this season and pretty much matched their intensity. He finished second in steals per game with 2.0 (behind only Ben Simmons), fourth in deflections per game with 3.7, and tied for third in defensive loose balls recovered per game with .8. And, for what it’s worth, ESPN also has Dunn with the league’s 14th-best defensive real plus-minus (3.01), which puts him well ahead of Simmons, Smart, and Bledsoe. Dunn managed to post eqaully impressive performances on the defensive end in a much lesser role. For a good chunk of the season, he wasn’t even featured in the starting lineup, which certantly makes his steals per game number even more impressive.

•   Considering the Bulls lackluster season, I’m not baffled to see Dunn fall short of an All-Defensive accolade. After all, much like other NBA awards, recognition is oftentimes accompanied by winning. However, it is a bit frustrating to know how close he came to cracking the roster. Dunn received four first-team votes and 23 second-team votes, which had him one spot short of a selection, according to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. Ugh.

•   At 8:02 p.m. last night, news dropped that head coach Billy Donovan would leave Oklahoma City. At 8:36 p.m., news dropped that the Bulls were interested.

•   Still in the midst of an extensive search that reportedly just wrapped up first-round interviews, it’s hard to say how legitmate a Bulls-Donovan partnership could become. He left OKC in good faith, but it was also because the team is pivoting toward a full rebuild. Reports make it sound as though Donovan is interested in a win-now team, which certaintly isn’t a way to describe the current Chicago Bulls. I suppose there is a chance Arturas Karnisovas could convince Donovan that Chicago’s competitive turnaround will be a quick one – especially with his help – but he might not want to listen if a team like the Philadelphia 76ers are also blowing up his phone. If the Bulls did, in fact, express an immediate interest in Donovan, though, there is always a chance they’ll work extra hard to bring him to Chicago.

•   To Bulls fans, I’ve already seen that Donovan is a bit like Honey Nut Cheerios – he’s good but not everyone’s first choice. I get it. I wouldn’t mind if he ended up with the job, but there is something more exciting about a young, high-level assistant taking over the lead role. The chances of finding the next big-time head coach just feels higher. I’ll just say this, though: Sometimes it’s okay to go with what feels “fine.” The fact of the matter is Donovan has proven he can coach a winning team and develop young talent. Sure, he may not be the most exciting choice, but we could at least trust him to do a respectable job.

•   Also, maybe Bradley Beal will want to team up with his college coach? (probably not … but maybe?)

•   Boooooooo. We’ll have to wait even longer for some key dates.

•   If Rondo didn’t get hurt … [fill in the blank].

 



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.