Thank Goodness It's Only Summer League (And Other Bulls Bullets)

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Thank Goodness It’s Only Summer League (And Other Bulls Bullets)

Chicago Bulls

Thank goodness it’s only Summer League.

The Chicago Bulls matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday felt like watching my apartment get built. Brick … brick … Patrick Williams dunk … brick. The Bulls Summer League squad shot a dismal 25.0 percent from the field and 15.6 percent from downtown. Only two players cracked double-digits, with Williams scoring a team-high 18 points and Marko Simonovic adding 10 points of his own. However, both still played their own role in the team’s overall shooting woes, with Simonovic shooting just 1-8 from the field and Williams shooting 6-15. Ew. 

•   Fortunately, stats matter in Summer League about the same as my stats in NBA 2K. Sure, I might be satisfied with my 30 points, but when I tell my girlfriend about them she’s all like, “it’s just a fake game, babe.” NO! NO, IT’S NOT. I PRESSED THE BUTTONS AND STUFF! Anyway, as we discussed before, it’s way more about the little things. Williams has not at all been efficient over these three Summer League contests, but he has at least displayed a versatile shot selection (though, he still hesitates to pull the trigger on some open looks). Additionally, I wanted to see him prioritize using his hulk-like frame to invite contact and get to the rim. He did that on Thursday with little hesitation, going 4-6 from the free-throw line and shooting 8 of his 15 shots inside seven feet of the basket.

•   There is no question Williams still needs to work on his touch around the rim and trusting his body to go up strong (he missed five of those buckets around the rim). He also needs to tighten those handles. Considering he isn’t going to carry this big of a scoring workload during the season, nor put the ball on the floor this much, this might not matter a ton. However, William did have six turnovers against the Timberwolves, and a good bulk of them simply seemed to be because he played a bit loose with the ball in his hands.

•   In more fun news … DUNKS!

•   Ayo Dosunmu continued his solid work on the defensive end against the Timberwolves, but he failed to create much separation at all on offense, shooting just 1-7 from the field. Since Devon Dotson left the game with an ankle injury, perhaps Dosunmu will get a chance to bounce back while carrying full lead guard duties when the Bulls play next on Sunday.

•   I’ll say this about Dosunmu: Expect really steady and gradual improvement from the second-rounder. As someone who has watched him since his freshman year at Illinois (and covered him for a season), I know this guy is a methodical and obsessive worker. He might struggle to get a feel for what to do off the ball and have a hard time creating much in the halfcourt, but I expect him to figure it out, especially when surrounded by the Bulls’ full coaching staff. The dude is one hell of a smart player, and I still see no reason why he will not become at least a quality rotation player at the next level.

•   Speaking of quality role players, Thadgic will be missed.

•   If his departure meant adding the talent this team did, it was surely worth it. However, I do think it leaves some pretty big shoes to fill off the court. We heard many stories of Young holding guys accountable behind the scenes and in the huddle. Someone new is going to have to step up and be the kind of vocal leader that Young was. Is Zach LaVine ready for that? Can DeMar DeRozan immediately establish himself as that presence? This kind of thing can be really important to accelerating team chemistry, so I’ll be watching this closely when training camp starts.

•   You mean: “Bulls legend and one-time All-Star Kyle Korver …” 



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.