Drummond Did What Now? Bulls Show Two-Way Flashes, LaVine Shakes Off the Rust, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Drummond Did What Now? Bulls Show Two-Way Flashes, LaVine Shakes Off the Rust, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

If we’ve learned one thing this preseason, it’s that the Chicago Bulls most definitely did address their 3-point shooting problems this summer.

  • Of course, I’m kidding, but did you see that 3-point stroke from Andre Drummond!? When he made the first one, I thought: “Ha, what a fun preseason moment! I hope he never does that in a game.” When he knocked down the second one I thought: “Wow, what are the chances!” Then, when he proceeded to confidently bury the third one and give the Bulls a 90-87 lead, I had no thoughts because my brain exploded out of pure shock!!!
  • To be clear, no, I don’t think Drummond is all of a sudden an adequate 3-point shooter. The big man has made only 15 shots from long range over his career, and none over the past two seasons. But I couldn’t help but feel impressed with his surprisingly decent-looking jumper. Has fellow center Nikola Vucevic taught him a thing or two about shooting the 3-ball? It sure looks like it.
  • I doubt this is the last time we see Drummond take that shot, for what it’s worth. Again, I’m not at all advising that he does, but the Bulls’ offense appears as if it could lead to him facing that opportunity at times throughout the season. The team continues to play a five-out look with Drummond on the floor. And, considering Drummond is … well … Drummond, the defense isn’t going to worry too much about him when he receives the occasional kick-out. Not to mention, Drummond has shown in the past that he isn’t particularly shy about chucking it up. The big man shot 38 long balls during the 2018-19 season and 35 in the 2019-20 season.
  • If the first preseason game was gross and the second preseason game was beautiful, this one was somewhere in between. The Bulls failed to find much of a rhythm in the first half, struggling to keep a physical Raptors team out of the paint and struggling, even more, to hold onto the basketball with 16 turnovers. However, coming out of the locker room down double digits, they were able to completely flip the script. They cut their TOV trouble in half and outscored Toronto 68-41 in the final two frames. While expanding the lead was done largely during #ScrubMinutes, it was the Bulls’ second-half starters that put them in a position to succeed.
  • Indeed, a lineup of Ayo Dosunmu, Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Javonte Green, and Nikola Vucevic went on a 20-5 run to turn a 57-47 deficit into a 67-62 advantage. The Bulls showed just how dangerous they can be when locked in on both ends during that run. They turned defense into offense in transition multiple times while DeRozan, LaVine, and Vucevic scored at all three levels in the halfcourt. When they get into a rhythm like that, it is easy to remember why they rose to the top of the East last season.
  • DeRozan has now scored at least 21 points in each of the team’s three preseason contests thus far, and he’s done it while averaging roughly 24 minutes per game. I know these games are meaningless, but I think it might be the All-Star’s way of reminding everyone that he has no plans of slowing down. DeRozan is one of the NBA’s more efficient and deadly scorers, and that isn’t going to change this year.
  • Zach LaVine seems to be shaking off the post-surgery rust. While I have little doubt that the max player is feeling 100 percent, it’s clearly going to take some time for him to reach that point on the court. CHGO’s Will Gottlieb noted on Twitter that training camp happened to be LaVine’s first 5-on-5 action since he received the operation on his knee. I think his average of 8.6 points on just 7.6 shot attempts per game has made that apparent. Again, none of this is cause for concern (plus, it’s preseason, so he probably isn’t trying all that hard), it just gives us some context around why LaVine might look a bit off.
  • Goran Dragic reportedly got the night off on Sunday. I’d expect to see this happen several times throughout the regular season, as well.
  • As far as scouting a potential obstacle in the Toronto Raptors, I wasn’t left all that impressed. I already held their defensive potential in high regard, and their starters surely backed that up. But concerns about their offense seem to remain, as does a hole at the center position. Toronto’s starters shot just 40.3 percent from the field and 23.0 percent from behind the arc. Vucevic also looked more than comfortable in the paint, finishing the night 6-10 with 13 points and 9 rebounds. Don’t get me wrong, I still completely respect what this Raptors team is capable of. I just think places like FanDuel – who have them winning about five more games than the Bulls – might want to step on the brakes.
  • How can you not love DeMar DeRozan?
  • Mooney may have the catch of the season.
  • St. Louis is boring.

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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.