To tweak a well-known phrase from a Sir. Patrick Star: The Inner machinations of the Chicago Bulls are an enigma.
My brain melts into a puddle of confusion every single time I try to comprehend this team. Last night’s win only added to the chaos, as the Bulls were the first team to beat the Brooklyn Nets since Dec. 4. Kevin Durant and Co. were on a 12-game win streak and playing like arguably the best team in the NBA. They’ve held the league’s best offensive rating over the past month, boasting a ridiculous 61.3 effective field goal percentage behind MVP-caliber play from Durant. Everyone from Irving to Simmons to O’Neal to Watanabe was contributing at a high level. And it was the freakin’ 16-21 Chicago Bulls that put an end to that!
The Bulls are now 8-1 against the Celtics, Bucks, Nets, and Heat. That one and only loss came to Boston in a close 123-119 affair back on Nov. 4. If I told you in September that’s how the Bulls would start this season against those teams, you’d probably think that Zach LaVine was playing an All-NBA First Team member and Arturas Karnisovas was doing victory laps around the United Center in his underwear.
Instead, the Bulls remain the NBA’s favorite “blow-it-up” team as they clutch onto the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. What a weird basketball reality we live in, folks.
- I don’t know where the heck this Bulls season is going, but I do know that Ayo Dosunmu remains the steal of the 2021 NBA Draft. While his season has had its ups and downs thus far, he appears to have finally hit a consistent stride over the past several games. Dosunmu has now scored double figures in four-straight contests, averaging 14.5 points on 53.5 percent shooting from the field. Even more impressive, he’s averaged 1.8 steals a night over that stretch, which feels particularly important as guys like Alex Caruso and Javonte Green struggle to stay healthy.
- Seriously, I don’t think we can underscore enough just how special it is that Dosunmu was the one to take over a game that featured superstars like Durant and Irving. His 13 points in the second half (9 in the 4th quarter) were crucial to keeping the Nets’ at arm’s length. Not to mention, he quite possibly had the top-two defensive highlights of the night: A chasedown block on Durant in the 3rd quarter and a jumped passing lane for the fastbreak dunk in the 4th quarter.
- I don’t know how high Dosunmu’s ceiling sits, but I also think that’s actually better than the alternative. When the Bulls drafted him, it was a feel-good story about a player that I thought capped off as a backup combo guard. Now, however, I truly think Dosunmu is more than capable of becoming a nightly starter on a winning team. Heck, he might even be the type of guy who can enter the All-Star mix one year. I know that sounds a bit aspirational, but we have to remember he’s just 23 years old and in his second season of NBA action! Whether it be knocking down big 3s, forcing key stops, or torching teams in transition, there is genuine two-way talent there that should only continue to evolve.
- I’ll put it this way: Before I considered Dosunmu’s ceiling more in the OKC Dennis Schroder vein. A backup guard who would be a crafty downhill scorer with some decent defensive intensity and an inconsistent 3-ball. But, now, is it crazy to think that Dosunmu’s career arc could look more like Jrue Holiday’s? To be clear, I’m not saying I expect him to eventually become the third-best player on a championship team, but Holiday was long viewed as one of the league’s most underrated two-way guards. If that’s the conversation we’re having about Dosunmu in five years or so, let’s just say I will not be that shocked.
- Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer recently wrote about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ longing for a more defensive-minded wing. Join the club, pal! If the Chicago Bulls do not pursue a full-blown sell-off by this deadline, I could see them pursuing several of the names that Fischer included in this post. . Guys like Jaden McDaniels or PJ Washington on Charlotte or Josh Richardson (SA) and Gary Harris (ORL) could be rather low-stakes additions who also fill a rather big hole on this specific Bulls roster. Anyway, we’ll talk way more about potential trade targets over the next month.
- The NBA refs called out Stacey King and Adam Amin …
- I know that’s in good fun and whatnot, but the refs aren’t in a place to talk. You can’t go and tout correct calls made in the middle of the second quarter when you’re blowing the most important calls of the game. Just saying.
- KLAY THOMPSON WITH AN INSANE SHOT!
- SADDIQ BEY WITH AN EVEN MORE INSANE SHOT JUST SECONDS LATER!
- Happy 100th!