Opening Night Inches Closer, LaVine's Leadership, Dosunmu Was a Draft Night Steal, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Opening Night Inches Closer, LaVine’s Leadership, Dosunmu Was a Draft Night Steal, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

I’m going to need Andre Drummond to do this at least once in a Bulls uniform.

Anyway … REAL NBA BASKETBALL STARTS ON TUESDAY LET’S GOOOOOO!

  • I’d be lying if I said I’m not concerned about the Bulls starting their season against the reigning No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Miami Heat were about as bad of a matchup for Chicago last year as any team in the league. They swept through Zach LaVine and Co. during the regular season by an average margin of victory of 15 points. Whether it be getting to the free-throw line, sinking shots behind the arc, or ramping up the physicality on the defensive end, the Heat dominated the pace of play with their smart and aggressive brand of basketball.
  • For a Bulls team that’s still hoping to establish a new identity on both ends of the floor, this surely isn’t the squad you want to see right off the bat. And this feels especially true when we consider that Chicago wants to prioritize putting real pressure on the rim. Thanks to plenty of transition buckets and hard cuts in the halfcourt, the Bulls finished the preseason averaging the 4th-most points in the paint. Unfortunately, the Heat finished last season allowing the fewest points in the paint per game. While we never know how things might change one year from the next, we don’t have any reason to believe the Heat’s defense will take a substantial step back this season.
  • With great money comes great responsibility … or something like that. The Chicago Bulls’ new max player can’t stop rising. While the Bulls invested in the talent they’ve seen over the past two seasons, they have also invested in the idea that he can continue to ascend into the league’s upper echelon. As much as this involves showing even more progress as a two-way player, it also means being the leader this win-ready team needs.
  • Being a leader means setting an example, and LaVine is trying to do just that behind the scenes. It’s no secret that the Bulls started to fend for themselves the moment Ball wasn’t around to feed mouths. The offense became extremely one-dimensional as both LaVine and DeRozan relied more and more on isolation basketball. If the Bulls want to get off to a hot start, they can’t run the risk of being that predictable again. And LaVine seemed to emphasize just that when speaking with NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson:

“We’ve all been main options,” LaVine told Johnson. “When things get a little tougher in the game, I think that’s when we look to our own ability to try to implement ourselves. But we need to look more inward and play more as a unit. That’s what we’re working on.”

  • The Bulls went from averaging the 8th-best AST Ratio to the 22nd-best AST Ratio when Ball hit the injury report. Simply put, the stars need to be proactive about generating a more creative and opportunistic offense. Make sure to read LaVine’s full thoughts in Johnson’s post below:
  • Read this tweet by Mr. Stevens …
  • Indeed, a lot of folks thought the Bulls should have targeted one of those two names over the former Illini scorer. But I think it’s safe to say the organization made the right pick. Dosunmu has proven that he pretty easily should have gone within the lottery, and he’ll have a chance to solidify himself as the steal of that draft when he takes over starting point guard duties this season.
  • Sharing this because it’s a great reminder of how significantly a young player can develop. I still can’t believe Lonzo Ball went from having one of the ugliest jumpers and shooting 30 percent from long range to having one of the most efficient strokes in the league (on high volume, too).
  • I got to be honest, I totally missed this initial signing. Okaro White went undrafted in 2014 and spent some brief time in the NBA with Miami and Washington before playing overseasons. I guess the Bulls decided to give the power forward another chance, as I’m assuming this is a sign-and-waive situation that will set him up to join the G-League roster.
  • If you want to meet Vooch, it looks like he’ll be at a Walmart this evening …
  • The Bulls play the Bucks for the first time on Nov. 23rd. With that being the case. I’m assuming Pat Connaughton will be back on the floor, but it’s at least worth monitoring.
  • Sending positive vibes to Nate Robinson. He’ll forever be a fan favorite in Chicago.
  • Sending more positive vibes to the great Dikembe Mutombo and his family. This sounds like a very scary situation, and I’m wishing the HOFer nothing but the best.
  • I’d say so …
  • Hey, look, a dub!


Author: Elias Schuster

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