Really!? LaMelo Ball couldn’t (literally) help his brother out!?
The Charlotte Hornets had a chance to take down the Miami Heat last night, but came up 4 points short in OT. The loss bumped the Heat to a 38-21 record, tying them with the Chicago Bulls for the first-place spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Bulls have at least a share of the Eastern Conference’s best record at the #NBAAllStar break for the fifth time (they did so 4x in the 1990s.)
— Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) February 18, 2022
• The All-Star festivities tip-off this evening with the Celebrity All-Star Game (6:00 p.m. CT) and Rising Stars event (8:00 p.m. CT). The Chicago Bulls Ayo Dosunmu will participate in the ladder, being one of the first rookies to experience the NBA’s new-look format. Four teams have been drafted from the league’s selected player pool by four legendary NBA players: Rick Barry, Gary Payton, Isiah Thomas, and James Worthy. Dosunmu will compete for team Payton in this mini-tournament alongside players LaMelo Ball, Scottie Barnes, Jonathan Kuminga, Bones Hyland, Jaden McDaniels, and G-League Ignite player Scoot Henderson.
• I have to be honest, I’m very curious to see what kind of Dosunmu we get in this playing environment. As a guy who has been able to wear multiple role-playing hats for this successful Bulls team, this could his first real opportunity since Summer League to play as the aggressor. Could we see him step back into his Illini days and attack the points column or will he continue to focus on being the playmaking maestro for some athletic swingmen? Dosunmu certainly plays the kind of game that can fit alongside anyone, so this should be an entertaining watch regardless of the role he decides to fill.
Ayo Dosunmu and the rest of Team Payton getting loose for Rising Stars tonight pic.twitter.com/3SDTUHGxTq
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) February 18, 2022
Ready to light it up in Cleveland!
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 18, 2022
• Dosunmu should not have just been a first-round pick, he should have been a lottery selection. The 22-year-old has continued to rise up the ranks in recent weeks, with ESPN most recently placing him 7th in their Rookie Power Rankings. Mike Schmitz went on to compare Dosunmu to Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday, which also happens to be one of the players Dosunmu has modeled his game after. While I find comparisons to be overly simplistic, this is the one I believe has best fit Dosunmu for a while now. Not only do they share some of the same physical qualities, but they are both cerebral two-way players who provide particularly strong on-ball defense and high-level playmaking skills. Neither might be the most high-volume downtown shooter, but they can present enough of a threat in that department to keep the defense on their toes. As Schmitz notes, Holiday has steadily become one of the most underrated guards in the league for his all-encompassing skillset and winning play. And, hey, I would gladly take that career trajectory for Dosunmu.
Ayo Dosunmu Has Reached New Heights on the Rookie Ladderhttps://t.co/7bX0uQL7E6
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 16, 2022
• Switching gears since I can’t stop thinking about it: Who would you pick for a Cartoon Celebrity All-Star Game? Considering I can surely talk about this for hours on end, I’m going to limit myself to a starting lineup only. Here’s what I’m thinking …
PG: Roadrunner (Looney Tunes) – Absolute dynamite in transition and possesses elite lateral quickness.
SG: Bubbles (The Powerpuff Girls) – Great for team chemistry and seems to have Steph-like hand-eye coordination.
SF: Tigger (Winnie the Pooh) – Bulky frame with the physical attributes to be a strong perimeter defender.
PF: Slinky (Toy Story) – Slight concerns about his ability to be overpowered inside, but he has next-level lob-threat potential.
C: Johnny Bravo (Johnny Bravo) – Brick wall of a man who can protect the paint in style. Great hair.
• K. Back to Bulls things. Joakim Noah spoke on ESPN Chicago’s Waddle and Silvy show about the Chicago Bulls’ unexpected rise up the East standings this season. To no surprise, he went out of his way to credit head coach Billy Donovan’s contributions, and he spoke a little about what makes him such a successful leader:
“That’s the beauty of sports, man. Everybody counted them out. Everybody didn’t expect DeRozan to be such a great addition to the team. And let’s really not underestimate the great work of coach Donovan. What a great coach.”
“I think that’s what makes coach Donovan such a good coach is he’s a balanced person. He cares about his players. Even when we’re not playing for him, he’s always checking on the guys.”
• For some more thoughts on Donovan’s contributions …
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) February 17, 2022
• The thing I love about doing these bullets every day – other than having an outlet to share and develop my silly thoughts – is that I get to share awesome work from other people in the basketball community. Both Mirin Fader and Kevin O’Connor did some truly great stuff about the Bulls this week, and I can’t encourage you enough to check it out:
“Sometimes before you become who you are, things have to go get worse before it gets better.” I profiled DeMar DeRozan @ringer. A story about joy, grief, resilience, mental health, and the sacred bond between fathers and sons: https://t.co/U0p0OMmy6d pic.twitter.com/8mxdHKiwEO
— Mirin Fader (@MirinFader) February 18, 2022
New video on the beautiful play of rookie Ayo Dosunmu and his importance to the Chicago Bulls:
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 17, 2022
• Can someone please make baseball happen already?
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) February 18, 2022