Connect with us

Bulls

Four Silver Linings During the Bulls’ Four-Game Losing Streak

Despite the Bulls’ four-game losing streak, there has still been some good during that time. Here are four silver linings for Chicago.

Ayo Dosunmu Bulls
Photo: ChicagoBulls/Twitter

The Chicago Bulls are one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference when healthy. They have proven that time and time again. Chicago played through a variety of injuries and COVID-related absences to start the season with a 27-11 record — the best record in the East. However, the injuries have really started to affect the Bulls as of late.

Zach LaVine being sidelined is a significant blow to the Bulls’ offense, and the loss of players such as Alex Caruso, Javonte Green, and Derrick Jones Jr. has seemingly crippled a Chicago defense that was already hurting without Patrick Williams. The culmination of all of this? A four-game losing streak.

Now, sitting 27-15, it may be hard to feel as optimistic as fans were when the Bulls were winning nine straight not that long ago. Still, there have been silver linings over the past four games we can highlight. Here are four of them.

Silver Lining Number One: Ayo Dosunmu 

Bulls rookie Ayo Dosunmu has been a bright spot all season. On a team built to compete, the second-round pick was expected to ride the bench this season. Billy Donovan, however, saw something in the Chicago product, and Dosunmu started to see decent minutes off the bench. On the season, Dosunmu is putting up impressively productive and efficient stats. In 20.8 minutes per game, Dosunmu is averaging 6.9 PPG on 54.1% shooting and 43.9% shooting from deep, 2.3 RPG, and 1.6 APG.

At the start of this four-game losing streak, Dosunmu looked rough, along with the rest of the Bulls. He had five points against the Nets and zero points against the Warriors despite playing nearly 32 minutes. However, once Chicago hit the road to face Boston and Memphis, things started really clicking for the rookie. Take a look at these game stats.

OPPMPPTSFGFGAFG%3P3PA3P%TRBASTSTLBLK
BOS39.521910903310041000
MEM38.21571258.31333.310642

Those are not numbers a rookie picked in the second round usually produces. These stats speak to Dosunmu’s maturity level and feel for the game. He only took good shots, he impacted the game in a variety of ways, and he put up two straight double-doubles. Yes, Dosunmu played heavy minutes to generate these stats, but both performances speak to his ability to impact games.

This is the type of play that shows the Bulls’ brass they have some roster flexibility at the guard position if they do choose to trade Coby White, though I still feel that would be a mistake unless they get a mini haul back.

Silver Lining Number Two: Coby White

Speaking of White, he comes in as a silver lining, too.

After starting super rusty when coming back from shoulder surgery, White has been on fire for a while now. He had some abysmal stat lines as he started his return, but he has already increased his shooting percentages to 46.2% and 39.5% from deep on 5.4 attempts. His finishing at the rim is the best it has ever been. He is shooting 66.7% between 0-3 feet from the rim. That’s a staggering 109 points higher than his previous career-high of 55.8%. For a reference point, Nikola Vucevic is shooting 62.7% from that distance this year, and DeMar DeRozan is shooting 63.3%. The only Bulls players shooting better than White at that distance are Derrick Jones Jr. (74.6%), LaVine (70.2%), and the aforementioned Dosunmu (69.2%).

White has been putting up solid numbers pretty much since returning from health and safety protocols. You can see the difference when you examine his first nine games (pre-COVID) and his most recent 15 games (post-COVID).

GMSPTSFGFGAFG%3P3PA3P%TRBASTSTLBLK
1-96.12.4734.90.83.422.62.61.30.10.1
10-2416.45.911.750.42.96.545.12.73.10.70.3

The distinction is pretty staggering. White is playing like the sparkplug scorer Bulls fans envisioned when he was drafted. 15 games is a small sample size, but the consistent and efficient scoring from White has been a wonderful silver lining even as the Bulls have struggled.

Silver Lining Number Three: Malcolm Hill

The Bulls signed former Belleville East and Illinois standout Malcolm Hill to a 10-day contract after losing seemingly every big forward on the roster to injury. He played well enough in the past two games that the Bulls waived guard Devon Dotson to sign Hill to a two-way deal. Hill has only been active for the past two games, but he’s clearly made an impression. Against the Boston Celtics, Hill struggled shooting and had just five points on 20% shooting and 33.3% shooting from deep.

Then, in 29.5 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies, Hill put up solid numbers for a backup big. He had 12 points on 66.7% shooting and 50% shooting from three, and he chipped in eight rebounds including four offensive rebounds. When this team is at full strength, Hill will likely be relegated to the end of the bench and the G League. Still, it’s nice to know they have some depth at the wing that can find ways to make an impact.

Silver Lining Number Four: Still First in the East

Losing is never fun. Losing streaks are even worse, especially when they come with injuries and blowouts. Still, though, the Chicago Bulls are in first place in the Eastern Conference as of right now.

The Brooklyn Nets blew the Bulls away, but Chicago already locked up the season series by winning their first two head-to-head meetings. Brooklyn also lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers since playing the Bulls, so they’re still 0.5 games behind Chicago. The Milwaukee Bucks have lost two in a row, which keeps them two games back. The Heat and Cavaliers are winning and putting the pressure on the Bulls, but — as of now — Chicago still wears the crown.

Of course, Cleveland comes to the United Center tomorrow at 7:00 PM CST riding a five-game winning streak. Let’s see if the Bulls can break two streaks at the same time and right the ship. Make sure to follow along with us for the ride for all your Bulls coverage needs.

Follow On Tap Sports Net on social media!

Sign up to receive awesome content like this right in your inbox, from On Tap Sports Net.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Bulls Writer for OnTapSportsNet. Author of Extraordinary Girl, available on Amazon and at other select retailers.

Click to comment
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Listen To Bulls On Tap

BET WITH BETRIVERS ILLINOIS

Advertisement
Advertisement Beer and Bourbon Box 300x250

More in Bulls