Bradley Beal is a "Fan" of Ayo Dosunmu, Bench Bros, Lonzo Ball Returns, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Bradley Beal is a “Fan” of Ayo Dosunmu, Bench Bros, Lonzo Ball Returns, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Let’s take a peek at last night’s checklist:

– Beat the Wizards for the second-straight time
– Extend winning streak to nine games for the first time since 2010-11
– Extend first-place lead in East 
– Get Billy Donovan his 300th-career win
– Throw Zach LaVine an alley-oop over Daniel Gafford that shatters the backboard

Dang, so close!

•   The Chicago Bulls continue to play like the hottest team in the NBA, extending the longest active winning streak in the league to nine games and scoring 120 points for the fifth time in eight games. Six players scored in double figures, which included a strong bounce-back performance from Lonzo Ball after he shot just 1-8 in his first game back from protocols on Monday night. Ball – who also finished with 6 assists and 2 steals – scored 18 points behind six 3-pointers. It was his third time hitting at least six shots from downtown this season.

•   Of course, the real showstoppers last night happened to be two of the youngest players on this first-place roster. Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White single-handedly kept this game out of reach for Washington by combining for 39 points off the bench on a 14-17 shooting performance. Add in 8 points from a now-healthy Tony Bradley and 5 points from an improved Troy Brown Jr., and the Bulls bench outscored the Wizards 52-29. I can’t stress enough how important it felt to watch White and Dosunmu post that kind of performance. Sure, it may have come against the 23rd-ranked defense in the NBA, but it emphasizes just how unexpectedly deep this Bulls team has become. When both players perform in this way, the Bulls are not sacrificing any bit of their identity when the second unit checks in. Teams covet this kind of roster balance.

•   I always had Ayo Dosunmu marked as a first-round pick, but I’d be lying if I said I expected him to look like a lottery selection just 32 games into his NBA career. The 21-year-old has been on a steady incline since the moment he stepped on the NBA court, and I don’t think there has been any performance more indicative of this gradual improvement than what we saw last night. The college Dosunmu was an efficient scorer with great acceleration in transition, a good pull-up jumper, and a swiss-army-knife skillset. He impacted the game as a playmaker, and he used his strength and length to crash the boards at a good rate for his 6’4″ size. Last night’s 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals looked the most like the USA Today National Player of the Year we saw at Illinois last season. And that should be a scary thought for the 29 other teams that passed him up on July 29th, 2021.

•   Nothing demonstrates better how fast Dosunmu picks up NBA-level skills than last night’s exchange with Bradley Beal. If you haven’t already heard about it, you MUST check out the post below.

•   Beal told the exact same story as Dosunmu during the postgame, explaining to reporters that he gave the young hooper some advice before getting owned by that very advice on the next possession. The good news is Beal walked away from the experience with nothing but respect for the Bulls’ 38th-overall pick, even saying he saw Dosunmu’s jersey retirement at Illinois and that he remains a “fan of his.”

•   What he said:

•   The blocking from Lonzo Ball is seriously impressive. Only two players who stand 6’7″ or shorter (minimum 25 games played) sit in front of Ball in blocks per game: Draymond Green and Matisse Thybulle. Overall, Ball’s block percentage sits at 1.4 percent, which ranks in the NBA’s 98th percentile, per Cleaning the Glass. The point guard’s size has always been an elite tool, but it’s his on-ball attack and ability to stick to the hip of opposing defenders as they drive to the rim that has taken him up another level this season.

•   Speaking of skills that have gone up a level …

•   Since the Bulls don’t play today, I recommend you just watch this until 6:30 p.m. CT tomorrow.

•   So who is going to sign Benny to a 10-day? 

•   Let the coaching search begin!

•   Rumors galore!

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Author: Elias Schuster

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