Everybody Wants a Jamal Murray, LeBron’s Butterfingers, A Good Fake Bulls Trade, and Other Bulls Bullets
Shoutout to Gabe Ramirez and Mark Grote for having me back on 670 The Score to cry about the Chicago Bulls! If you’re interested in that conversation, you can check it out right here (it starts around the 20min mark).
Don’t worry, I only brought up the Vucevic trade once!
- Everybody wants a Jamal Murray. Whenever the Denver Nuggets point guard enters the postseason, he takes things up about four notches. Over 46 career playoff games thus far, he’s averaged an eye-popping 25.1 points on 47.2 percent shooting from the field and 40.9 percent shooting from downtown. The bubble is when Playoff Jamal first broke onto the scene, but it’s these past 13 games that have been even more remarkable. He’s averaged 27.5 points this postseason to go along with 6.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds. In his first two outings against the Lakers in the West Finals, Murray dropped a combined 68 points.
- The 4th quarter belonged to Murray. With the Lakers right on the Nuggets’ tail and in line to tie the series 1-1, the 26-year-old dropped 23 points in the final 12 minutes. It was an absurd performance, which led to this even more absurd stat:
- I’ve talked about this before, so I won’t harp long on too long, but Murray is kind of who I hoped Zach LaVine would be by now. All things considered, LaVine is the more talented player and has two more All-Star appearances than Murray to back it up. But what LaVine doesn’t have is a nice-looking playoff resume. In fact, it’s extremely ugly. He’s only cracked the postseason ONCE so far in his career, and he had to play those four games on a knee that ultimately needed offseason surgery. With the Bulls’ future in flux this summer, who knows the next time he’ll get a chance to redeem himself?
- Now, to LaVine’s credit, he did rise to the occasion in the Bulls’ Play-In Tournament victory over the Raptors. While it may not technically be considered the playoffs, it did give us at least a glimpse of what he could possibly do on that big of a stage. LaVine dropped 39 points behind a beautifully efficient 12-22 performance from the field. He also attacked the Raptors’ strong perimeter defense on repeat, getting to the charity stripe 13 times in the second half alone. It was arguably the best performance of his career when we consider the stakes, and we can only cross our fingers that he can channel that same level of execution if he brings the Bulls back to the playoffs.
- There is nothing more awesome than calling your own Mike Breen “bang.”
- Meanwhile, as Jamal Murray carried the Nuggets to victory, LeBron James has two shocking mistakes during his 40 minutes of action. Not only did he completely botch a wide-open dunk attempt, but he missed a layup with 26 seconds left that would’ve cut it to a two-possession game. THE GOAT WOULD NEVER!
- Bleacher Report threw a bunch of hypothetical Bulls trades at the wall, and I think only one stuck. Zach Buckley proposed the idea of sending DeMar DeRozan to New York for RJ Barrett and Isaiah Hartenstein. As far as DeRozan’s trade returns go, this would have to be considered one of the better ones. While I’d like to snag at least one future first-rounder, a 22-year-old RJ Barrett is a pretty darn good asset to have instead. I’ve also always LOVED Hartenstein and was really rooting for the Bulls to add him as a free agent last offseason. He fits super well with how Billy Donovan and Arturas Karnisovas prefer to play.
- With all that said, I’m not sure if the Knicks would actually give up Barrett in this trade. He’s a great asset on a decent contract who they could see as a key piece to an even bigger superstar trade down the road. Not to mention, if you acquire DeRozan, you have to pay him. So they’d have to be absolutely sold on DeRozan being a guy who can take their team to the next level. I’m not sure they would be.
- Speaking of fake trades, teams around the league are reportedly anxiously awaiting to see if the Bulls will pick up the phone this summer. More on that here:
- LET’S GO SKY!!
- The rookies are looking fresh!
- Don’t forget about the Blackhawks’ free agency!
The Bulls’ Most Likely Draft Position, Vooch Trade Closure, DeMar Throws Shade, and Other Bulls Bullets