Beverley's Stamp of Approval, Dosunmu's Role, NBA Players Get Chippy, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Beverley’s Stamp of Approval, Dosunmu’s Role, NBA Players Get Chippy, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls cushion got the tiniest bit fluffier last night.

The Indiana Pacers, who were in 11th thanks to a tiebreaker advantage over the Wizards, got slammed by the last-place Detroit Pistons. The 117-97 loss puts them back in 12th and sets them one full game behind the Bulls.

  • As for Washington, they will face that same frisky Pistons team later tonight. If they manage to pick up the win and the Bulls fall to the second-place Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, they’ll reclaim sole possession of the Final Play-In Tournament spot. I know … it’s a lot to keep track of. Not to mention, the fact that all of this is merely for the chance to play two Play-In Tournament games on the road makes it feel far less dramatic. But, hey, this is the lane the Bulls picked for the rest of the season. Failing to stay in it will only make looking back at the 2022-23 campaign that much more embarrassing.
  • Good to see the Bulls cheesin’.

  • Zach LaVine snubbed!

  • Fine, seeing how amazingly Embiid played, I can completely understand why LaVine failed to receive the recognition. Having said that, LaVine will certainly be in the mix for Player of the Month if he keeps up his recent play. We’ve watched him return fully to his All-Star self, averaging 35.0 points on an absurd 56.0 percent shooting from the field over these first five games of March. As silly as it might be to think he can keep that up for 10 more outings, I wouldn’t put it past him at this point. This is easily the most explosive and decisive we’ve seen him since the early portion of last season. Plus, the Bulls are 5-3 since the All-Star break, so I have to imagine head coach Billy Donovan will only encourage LaVine to keep up his aggressive mentality.

“That right there. That sh*t was fire right there,” Beverley said on The Bat Pev Show. “The energy with the Bulls has been refreshing and satisfying … Natural. Man, Chicago has been a vibe. The team, the organization, the coaching staff, I mean everything has been a vibe. I’ve been real happy, man.”

  • Considering how much drama there has been around the team this season, this is at least somewhat encouraging to hear. It’s always a positive when a veteran face like Beverley comes into the mix and speaks highly of the product behind the scenes. And, look, I know he isn’t going to say anything other than positive words publically at this point. But he also doesn’t have to say anything at all! The fact of the matter is the Bulls still need to be an attractive destination for players around the league, so it’s not nothing to have a well-traveled player give the organization a stamp of approval.
  • I have some Ayo Dosunmu questions. While this is probably best saved for its own solo post closer to the offseason, I am starting to think about how this second half of the year could impact his impending restricted free agency. To be clear, my full expectation is the Bulls will prioritize re-signing him. He’s thus far been a draft-night steal and developmental success story for the new regime. But I also get the feeling the Bulls aren’t 100 percent sure how they want to use him.
  • They clearly thought he wasn’t equipped to handle the starting point guard duties. And I can surely understand some of their hesitations. However, I feel like there are also concerns about his ability to impact the offensive game in an off-ball role. If he’s hitting his catch-and-shoot 3s, some of that concern goes away, but he’s shooting just 31.8 percent this season behind the arc. There is room for him to carry more of the offensive load off the bench, but that also hasn’t come easy with Coby White and Patrick Williams looking for shots, too. At the end of the day, there is undoubtedly something there with Dosunmu, but I’d like to see the team define his role a little bit more next season (especially with a new contract coming his way).
  • Marc J. Spears of Andscape held a Q&A with Joakim Noah about his work with the Basketball Africa League. If you don’t know about Noah’s roots in Africa and the work he’s done so far, I highly recommend giving it a read here.
  • Things got chippy last night in Sacramento. After Trey Lyles committed a hard foul on Giannis Antetokounmpo as the Greek Freak tried to dribble out the clock, Brook Lopez swooped in for a tussle. Lyles swatted at Lopez’s face before the Bucks’ big man grabbed the back of Lyles’ head. The two had to be separated and were both handed ejections. Take a look:

  • After the game, head coach Mike Brown made it clear that his team will not hesitate to make their presence felt:

  • I feel like this is a good time to remind you that the Bulls will battle this Kings team at the United Center tomorrow night. Chicago has struggled with physicality all season long, so to say I’m a bit concerned would be an understatement.
  • Stephen Curry let Chris Paul hear it! I love the NBA, man.

  • Hmm, maybe I should bring Winnie.

  • It’s going to be crazy when the Bulls’ offseason upstages the Bears’ moves!

  • A bridge piece?

Author: Elias Schuster

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