Despite playing 27 minutes in the Chicago Bulls’ first Summer League game, it felt like Ayo Dosunmu wasn’t on the floor.
The Bulls second-round pick struggled to make an impact with the offense centered around 2020 picks Patrick Williams and Marko Simonovic. Devon Dotson also seemed to carry the lead guard responsibilities, pushing the tempo in transition and feeding teammates in the halfcourt. As a player who is used to operating with the ball in his hands, it was clear Dosunmu had trouble finding a comfortable role off-ball. But, as a player who is also known for his experience and basketball IQ, all it took was 24 hours for him to make some crucial adjustments.
• While Dosunmu did not light up the scoreboard in Game 2 (10 points on 4-9 shooting), he got himself into a rhythm with energetic play on the defensive end. The lengthy 6’5″ guard used his size and active hands to grab 4 steals on the night. His play on this side of the ball was practically responsible for igniting the team’s 22-point comeback over the Spurs. The high-end defense also created Dosunmu’s own offense, as he was able to break out in transition to set up a couple of easy scores for himself and his teammates.
Ayo steal ➡️ Ayo slam! pic.twitter.com/S79a8MIjsY
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) August 11, 2021
• Box score pointing is often dumb in Summer League. Dosunmu’s numbers may not jump off the page, but what he did in last night’s matchup with the Spurs is something that is easily transmissible to the next level. Play aggressive defense, limit your fouls (he had only one), push the pace, and get the ball up the floor. Chicago has a legitimate chance to be one of the top offenses in the league next season. Dosunmu may have been a 20-point per game scorer in college, but that is not the skill set that will get him on the floor this season. His work will have to start on the defensive end, and that is why a performance from last night feels so encouraging.
• Of course, stuff like this also does not hurt.
Patrick Williams called Ayo Dosunmu one of the most vocal players on the summer-league team.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) August 11, 2021
• I want to see the defensive intensity continue for Dosunmu over the next handful of games, but I also hope this leads him with more opportunities to set up action on the other end. A pure midrange threat and solid ballhandler, Dosunmu does know how to make plays in the halfcourt. Maybe throw him in some more pick-and-roll with Marko Simonovic to see what he can stir up.
• Speaking of which, let’s have Dosunmu hit Simonovic on the pop! The big man shot 34.9 percent from downtown on 5.9 attempts per game during his 25 games with KK Mega Basket this past season. Part of the allure has always been his ability to score at all three levels, but a 15-foot mid-range jumper on Tuesday night was only the second time we saw him make a shot from at or beyond the free-throw line (third attempt). If the Bulls do want him to play the four next season, I would not mind seeing a bit more play away from the basket.
• File this under: Things You Like to See.
Summer Bulls coach Damian Cotter said in the last 24 hours Patrick Williams "really took it upon himself" to be a better leader and second-half performer. Said he's impressed with his maturity and that experience will be good for development.
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) August 11, 2021
• Williams looked like he could get in his own head at times last season, particularly on the offensive end. The guy never thought he should be the one with the ball in his hands, and he failed to realize that sometimes the “best play” is the “aggressive play.” I was curious to see how he would respond after a stinky (*pinches nose for emphasis*) second half on Monday against the Pelicans, and I was happy to see him not take his foot off the pedal.
• File this under: Things You Like to See Part 2
• DeMar DeRozan could be seen chatting it up with Troy Brown Jr. and Billy Donovan plenty throughout the broadcast, and he also spoke with The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry about his new team after the game.
“Just looking at the overall squad. Seeing Vučević there, that was my teammate in college. So it’s been great.” (2/2)
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) August 11, 2021
• I don’t know about you, but I kind of want to pop some champagne and light a cigar in honor of this massive W. I mean, when is the last time we have heard a player of DeRozan’s caliber mention the Bulls’ talent as a legitimate draw. A comment like this just goes to show how quickly this front office has been able to change the perception of this franchise around the league.
• Okay … and it also goes to show what money can do. I love what DeRozan said, but I’d be dumb not to also acknowledge his $85 million contract. Ask him why he joined the Bulls under the table and he probably includes, “DID YOU SEE THAT BAG” in his answer.
• A true vet. Glad Temple found a new home with some financial security.