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Ayo Dosunmu’s Debut Was Raw, But Electric (And Mostly Just a Lot of Fun)

Chicago Bulls

Thank god the Bulls managed to pull out that win over the Pistons last night, because I wanted to talk about Ayo Dosunmu’s electric NBA debut with all the fun and positivity it deserves. Hopefully, you didn’t miss it, because it was an absolute blast.

Four points in four seconds:

A critical fourth-quarter 3:

Ayo Dosunmu’s NBA Debut

With Coby White still on the mend, the Bulls’ 2021 second-round pick checked into the game for DeMar DeRozan with roughly 8 minutes left in the first half and didn’t look back. By the final buzzer, he put up 7 points on a 3-8 shooting performance, including 1-3 from behind the arc, with 2 rebounds, and a block, which was good for a +7 overall (highest among all Bulls non-starters last night):

Chicago Bulls +/-

1. Lonzo Ball: +17
2. Nikola Vucevic: +13
3. Patrick Williams: +12
4. Zach LaVine: +8
5. Ayo Dosunmu: +7
6. DeMar DeRozan: +5

I’ll add that even though those numbers are solid, anecdotally, it all felt like so much more than that. And DeMar DeRozan sure seems to agree (full interview right here):

“It’s amazing. That does a lot for a young guy — confidence-wise — getting thrown into a big game like tonight. He had some great looks, he made some great plays, you know, that’s great for a young guy. He’s definitely talented and he’s one of my favorite rookies that’s definitely going to be someone in a couple years for sure.”

What was most shocking, however, was the fact that Dosunmu played — and legitimately earned — his 11+ minutes on the court in a game that was *very* tight well into the fourth quarter. That, alone, says a lot about how the rookie has looked behind the scenes. And, hey, let’s throw some credit to Billy Donovan who (1) recognized that he had some heat at his disposal and (2) actually deployed it correctly.

Now, of course, we can not say it was *all* perfect.

Dosunmu is still a rookie who had plenty of green moments. For example, he started moving before the feed from Alex Caruso met his fingertips, thus letting the ball fly out of bounds on a big 4th quarter possession with the Bulls down one. Dosunmu also didn’t finish strong at the rim on more than one occasion (which was true for pretty much every Bulls player not named Zach LaVine last night). But some of those mistakes are bound to happen (for any player), and the rest should be cleaned up with experience. And on a night where the score was tight and the defense on both sides was aggressive, Ayo found a way to stand out and make a quick impact in just about every facet of the game.

Okay, I should probably exhale and reset. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, because Dosunmu should be little more than a complementary player on this roster right now. But it is hard not to get so excited about a great debut from a guy we already identified as a second-round steal (probably doesn’t hurt that I’m a UofI alum), right? Yes, of course, this team is better when Coby White is healthy and available, but it’s nice to know that while he’s out (and hopefully even after that), there’s a potential sparkplug available off the bench in the form of Ayo Dosunmu.

What a blast of a night.

(Photo by Getty Images)


Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami