DeMar is DeMaring, What's the Bulls' Identity? Patrick Williams' Doubters, and Other Bulls Bullets

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DeMar is DeMaring, What’s the Bulls’ Identity? Patrick Williams’ Doubters, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

If you happen to suddenly stumble upon a bunch of jibberish in this post, blame my dog, Winnie. She had me up until about 3:30 a.m. with a good old fashioned case of the runs. The only thing that has smelled worse in recent works is whatever the Bulls have brought to the court.

Anyway, I’m chugging some coffee and trying to break out of this fog. We’ll see if I can make it to this afternoon.

  • BREAKING: DeMar is DeMaring …
  • According to Cleaning the Glass’ database, DeMar DeRozan is taking 74 percent of his shots from the midrange this season, which (shocker) ranks in the NBA’s 100th percentile. He is technically converting those shots at a worse rate than last season (49 percent), but his 47 percent still sits among the league’s best.
  • DeRozan also continues to be one of the deadliest isolation players in the NBA, sitting in a league of his own when it comes to slicing and dicing his way to the free-throw line.
  • DeRozan isn’t void of the Bulls’ shortcomings to start the year, but he is basically performing at the same elite level we saw last season. And I think that just underscores how confusing this whole downswing has been to watch. Maybe the Bulls need to simply let the man cook again to help pull them out of this rut. I understand that trading off isolation possessions between him and LaVine isn’t a long-term recipe for success, but maybe it can be a short-term solution. I don’t know. I’m just begging for someone to step up.
  • The latest episode of BullsTV’s All-Access is out for your viewing pleasure:
  • Assistant coach John Bryant is featured pretty heavily during the second half of this episode, and he dives a bit deeper into exactly what this team is trying to accomplish behind the scenes. He makes a specific comment about establishing an identity, noting how the Bulls want everyone to be sacrificing for their teammates. Look, I’m not blaming Bryant for this, but the more I hear these coaches talk about identity the more lost I am about exactly what that identity is.
  • I mean, seriously, what kind of team are the Bulls trying to be on both ends? My best guess is that Billy Donovan wants this roster to be the type that outhustles their opponent and keeps the ball popping around the horn. I guess they do some of that by scoring the third-most points off turnovers per game, but they have the 19th-ranked AST% and the 20th-ranked EFG%. These plans for a free-flowing/random offense that thrives on player movement and open shotmaking have fallen flat to start the year. Maybe that changes with someone like Lonzo Ball back in the starting lineup … but the Bulls can’t keep crossing their fingers that Santa brings him a new knee.
  • Brian Windhorst recently recapped some 2020 NBA draft mistakes on the latest episode of The Hoops Collective, and I think you can guess who made the list. Here’s what Windhorst had to say about No. 4-overall pick Patrick Williams:

“They invested a lot in him being a starter this year, and he’s just been a very very average player. He’s averaging 9.0 points, he’s shooting 45 percent from the field, and there are plenty of times where he does not play the key minutes down the stretch of the game … Look, when Arturas Karnisovas drafted him at No. 4, he picked over some guys because he thought this guy could have been the kind of two-way wing with size, combo forward with size, who could be a difference-making player. Same physical make-up as a Kawhi Leonard, that’s what they were attracted to. And it has not happened.

Patrick Williams has been a disappointment in Chicago and there is no other way to put it. He’s a fine player, but he’s not special, and they thought they had a special player.” 

  • OOF. That is a scathing review that is – unfortunately – hard to disagree with. This front office went with continuity because they thought they had a key piece to the puzzle waiting in the wings. I’m not fully saying that Williams can’t transform into a difference-making player as Windhorst implies, but I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that this front office misjudged how fast that could happen. He was the youngest NCAA prospect taken on draft night, and he also missed almost the entirety of his second season in the NBA. The fact that he isn’t hoisting this team toward the top of the East right now shouldn’t be a huge surprise, but it does look pretty darn bad considering how much weight Arturas Karnisovas put on his shoulders.
  • Speaking of NBA youngsters, teams are going to have even more access to scouting some of the top high school talents in the world.
  • So you’re telling me the Bulls might have two freaks to worry about? Lovely.
  • Good thing the Bulls have their own freak! KOSTAS WILL SAVE CHICAGO!
  • Congrats to Jaylon!
  • Not ideal, indeed.

Author: Elias Schuster

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