Back on ESPN, No One Can Stop Giannis, Ayo Faces An Idol, and Other Bulls Bullets

I was never “grounded” when I was younger, but I also would not consider myself a massive trouble-maker.

Instead, I would probably refer to myself as more of a trouble-designer. The kind of shenanigans I’d pull would be a bit more nuanced. That is, as nuanced as a 7-year-old can be. I wouldn’t break things, scream things, or hit things – everything would appear more subtle. You know, like convincing your sister to let you play with her toys only to then play with those toys just rough enough to make her upset. What did I do!? Or like holding a tiny fan close enough to your sister’s long hair that it gets stuck, but far enough so you can play it off as a mistake. I didn’t know you were that close! Or hiding some of your sister’s stuff before quickly putting it back in the original place she looked. It was there the whole time!

Of course, none of this is to say I wouldn’t receive some kind of punishment. Much like the crime, the time was spent in a more modest manner. My mom or dad would simply position a blue chair by the corner, and I would have to sit there—a pretty typical and shameful timeout (minus the dunce hat).

I think we need to pull out that dusty blue chair for ESPN. As someone who used to cause calculated mischievous, I read right through the network’s ploy to bump the Bulls into tonight’s timeslot. A depleted team with three-straight blowouts on national television, ESPN is just looking for trouble by making them play the reigning champs on the road! Go to the corner!

•   We can feel a tiny bit better about the Bulls heading into the Fiserv Forum after the performance we saw on Wednesday night. With Alex Caruso back on the floor, the team certainly saw their defensive execution trend in the right direction, but will it be enough to stop Giannis Antetokounmpo? No. The answer is always no. There isn’t one team in this league that has someone who can truly stop the 2x MVP. However, some teams do have several bodies they can throw at him to make his night at least a little bit tougher. Not only does it feel like this Bulls roster is missing the kind of frontcourt talent it needs, but most of the frontcourt bodies they have used this season remain injured on the sideline.

•   The Bulls will miss a lot of things with Lonzo Ball out for an extended period, and one is definitely his rebounding. A 6’6″ guard, Ball has always been a solid rebounder for his position, and he currently sits second on the team this season with 5.4 rebounds per game. For a team that currently averages the second-fewest total rebounds a night, the lack of Ball’s ability to crash the glass is something we could feel more and more, especially tonight against the 2nd-best rebounding team in the league.

•   I’m excited for Ayo Dosunmu tonight. Not only will he continue to play a significant role in the wake of Ball’s injury, but the rookie is also about to go up against one of his idols for the first time. During the pre-draft process, Dosunmu was open about the fact that he’s studied Jrue Holiday’s game, and he spoke about why in an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump.

I also enjoy watching Jrue Holiday. He’s a two-way point guard. He’s 6’4”, he can score, he can pass it, he does great in pick-and-roll reads, and he’s tenacious on the defensive end as a guard … 

I try to pride myself as being a complete player – doing rebounding, scoring, facilitating. Doing whatever it takes to help my team win. And I think Jrue Holiday is a prime example of that. 

•   I got to admit, I think Holiday is one of the best current comps for Dosunmu’s ceiling. While it’s hard to say the rookie can reach All-Star status, Holiday is one of the most well-rounded guards in the league who offers a particularly elite presence on the defensive end. I don’t want to dig too deep into this right now, but I do think it’s kind of cool to see how Dosunmu’s last three starts compare to Holiday’s numbers this season …

Dosunmu: 18.0 ppg, 8.0 ast, 5.7 reb 2.0 stl
Holiday: 18.1 ppg, 6.6 ast, 4.6 reb, 1.6 stl

•   ALEX CARUSO WILL FIX THIS.

•   Veteran Paul Millsap is reportedly available, and the Chicago Bulls showed interest in his services this offseason. I wouldn’t go out of my way to acquire him if I’m this front office – especially with other interesting options out there – but it could be worth monitoring.

•   King. Of. The. Midrange.

•   Head over to BN Blackhawks because the content is rolling this afternoon!

 

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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