Bull Necessities: How to Prevent a Shorthanded Slip
Well Chicago, we might still be near the summit after losing first place this past week to Jimmy Bucket’s Miami Heat, but to prevent a severe slip down the mountainside we need to focus on making a few adjustments while we lye in limbo waiting on Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr, and of course, the long-hauler Patrick Williams to return.
As Stacy King says, “It’s a simple game.” And though he’s usually referring to Vooch making baskets in the paint like drops of water falling off a towering redwood, I’m going to copy and paste those words to a topic that should come as second nature to any Bull: Run. We NEED to put on the hustle offensively more. Most of our losses to these .500 or under teams have come due to lack of offensive rush combined with absence in defensive aggression.
Since Friday, January 21st, Caruso has been out merely one game after his highly anticipated return when he was injured by the ugliest frat boy waste of resources I have ever seen, Grayson Allen. Frat boy received a flagrant two and a pathetic one-game suspension without pay. On the other hand, Ball has been out since a week prior to that Friday the 14th of January after injuring his knee against Golden State. Since the two have been out, the Bulls have gone on a tremendous downhill slide, winning only 3 of the 8 games since the 15th. Bottom line: AC and Zo aren’t just missed; they are necessities to the Bull’s success long term. But how do we remain near the top of the East without Ball and Caruso?
We have to rely on developing the position assignments of our younger stars like Green and Dosunmo. Green is an absolute FORCE on the court. Dunking. Stealing. Blocking. Even making some 3's when needed. Hands down, he is just a noisy player, he is fast, young, he plays with palpable passion and physical effort, and the Bulls are finally allowing him to open up a bit more and shoot, and players like that need to be supported and promoted right now for us to make it through the next couple of months. Ayo has already made his presence well known. He plays with the calm energy of a veteran, but he has all the tools and assets of a young star. Letting these two loose and upping their minutes will provide some much-needed backing for our offensive commanders, Zach and DeMar.
Recent Notable Stats:
1/30 - MIN 24 / FG 6-9 / FG% 66.7 / 3PT 2-5 / 3PT% 40.0 / FT 2-2 / FT% 100.0 3 / PTS 16
1/28 - MIN 23 / FG 3-5 / FG% 60.0 / PTS 8
1/30 - MIN 34 / FG 2-3 / FG% 66.7 / PTS 7
1/28 - MIN 36 / FG 3-9 / FG % 33.3 / FT 4-4 / FT% 100.0 / REB 6 / PTS 10
We have to start thinking long term and disallowing teams like Portland and San Antonio to get 130 points on us, coming out of the tunnel at halftime with some more steam, and developing our youngsters to take some of the pressure off our star players will let us emerge the storm near the precipice.
-RM Kamm (IG: @rmkamm.wrote / Twitter: @RM_Kamm)