Here’s some bad news!
If your Wednesday sucks, you can blame me.
- Dalen Terry played his best basketball yet on Tuesday afternoon. The No. 18 pick in the draft helped lead the Summer League Bulls to a painless 93-83 victory over the Toronto Raptors. Flying in transition, cutting hard, and putting pressure at the rim, he played far more of the off-ball role we’re expected to see him take on at the NBA level. Even better, he did it while looking like a player who would easily fit into the style of play we watched the Bulls thrive in during the early portion of last season. I know his 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists may not jump off the page, but those numbers came in only 20 minutes of comfortable and confident basketball. That’s encouraging stuff.
- The Bulls cruised to an insurmountable double-digit lead midway through the game in large part thanks to Terry’s winning activity. Most of Terry-led halfcourt offense we saw loosely anchor the Bulls over the first two games was replaced with second-year guard Carlik Jones. The more experienced lead ball-handler allowed Terry to become arguably the most tiring player to guard on the floor. His natural instinct to hunt cutting opportunities and keep his legs in motion opened up the offense for everyone. The only problem was the Bulls didn’t have a savvy enough playmaker on the court to consistently feed Terry, who found himself open without the ball far too often.
- I understand Summer League is a time to give your first-round rookie the keys, but I think we can sometimes misinterpret that as forcing them to play an on-ball scoring role. While Summer League is a great opportunity for Terry to develop that area of his game, he just doesn’t project to be a particularly lethal off-the-dribble shot-creator. Where Terry projects to be best on this side of the ball is in the role he played yesterday, so it was encouraging to see him find some immediate success when used in that way.
- The last thing I’ll say about Terry is that his ability to get to the free-throw line has been a welcomed sight. He’s now shot at least seven free-throw attempts in the past two games, and we saw him go 6-7 from the line before halftime against the Raptors. The 20-year-old is as unafraid as a crash test dummy when it comes to taking contact. And the good news is he’s already a pretty solid finisher at the rim, so as long as he can add some muscle, there is real potential for him to become a nice driving threat.
- In other Summer League news, Justin Lewis continues to provide some fun highlights:
- I’m liking this developmental gamble more and more for the Bulls … and I already really liked it. While it’s hard to envision him seeing much playing time this season, we also know the Bulls aren’t the deepest in the frontcourt. But, regardless, I’m excited to follow his progress in the G-League this year.
- Lewis gave the birthday boy some advice …
- I get it. I’d never board a Wolverine bus.
- The BullsTV crew continues to kill it with the behind-the-scenes content. I know Summer League is an overall short experience, but I think we forget how significant it is for so many players. It’s really cool to hear Simonovic, Terry, Malcolm Hill, and Justin Lewis talk about how meaningful it is to be in Vegas, as well as how much they are learning by simply playing alongside each other.
- The Athletic’s tiers roll on. Zach LaVine makes an appearance in the 25-32 section, which I honestly think could be a bit of a low-ball. I’m not going to be surprised if we see a healthy (and compensated) LaVine comfortably enter top-20 territory this season.
- The hockey madness continues with free agency!
- You have my attention.
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