The Chicago Bulls are back in the playoffs. It’s the first time since 2017 that the Bulls are in the postseason. In typical Chicago fashion, it has to be against the defending NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks. It can never be easy when you’re a Chicago fan, nonetheless I am stoked.
We already know that DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic are the star players. For the Bulls to have any chance to succeed, those three need to play lights out. But what makes it easier for them to succeed? Having pressure taken off of them so they do not have to be the “end all, be all.” That’s where Patrick Williams and Ayo Dosunmu enter the conversation.
LaVine, DeRozan, and Vucevic are all great scorers. None of them are known for their defense. That’s why it is so important for Willams and Dosunmu to play with the upmost confidence heading into the first-round matchup against the Bucks. They both posses the potential to be above average players on both ends of the court. Not only can they hit their shots when presented with the opportunity, they are also effective with their defense.
In the last five games of the regular season, Williams averaged 17.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, and 1.8 APG. He shot 54% from the field and 61% from downtown. Fans saw many flashes of the player they think Williams can become. If the Bulls stand any chance, it’s with Williams being aggressive and taking everything he can get in the game instead of waiting for it to come to him. Williams has some fresh legs after only appearing in 17 games this season. It could be the 2020 NBA Draft’s fourth pick’s moment to make some noise if he shows out against the Bucks.
What can’t Dosunmu do? He can defend, score, dish the rock, and everything else you’d like from a starting point guard. Dosunmu was a second-round pick with first-round talent out of Illinois. He took the pressure of playing for his hometown team in stride and didn’t disappoint. On the season, Dosunmu averaged 8.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 3.3 APG on 59% TS. In 40 games as a starter this season, he averaged 10.9 PPG, 5.4 APG, and 3.6 RPG. He shot 52% from the field and 35% from downtown. He added four double-doubles as well.
The point is, even if the Bulls lose a hard fought series, it’s these two that can really make an impact on the future. Dosunmu and Williams are legitimate keys to success for a competitive series. Hopefully they show out in this series and help the Bulls get to where they want to be.
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