Tag Archives: Doug McDermott

Bulls flat-line at the deadline, wave goodbye to Gibson, McDermott, and a future pick

Well the trade deadline has come and gone, with no superstars swapping teams on the final day. To the delight of many Bulls fans, Gar Forman and John Paxson were able to complete a trade to avoid sitting on their hands yet another year. To the disgust of Bulls fans everywhere, this trade makes absolutely no sense. To be fair, this trade doesn’t ruin the franchise in the way Sacramento trading for 25 cents on the dollar to get rid of Demarcus Cousins, but this trade just makes you want to scratch your head. Trades are either supposed to make you better in the present or the future, ideally both. GarPax managed to somehow diminish both of these prospects with this one. While this wasn’t a blockbuster by any stretch of the imagination, there is still a lot to break down here so stick with me here.

First let’s get to the deal itself. The Bulls receive: Cameron Payne, Anthony Morrow, and Joffrey Lauvergne in exchange for Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, and a 2018 2nd round pick. So essentially, the Bulls are giving up the best player in this group (Taj) as well as a draft pick, while also disposing of the man they gave up two first round picks for (McDermott). In exchange the Bulls received one rotation player (Payne) in their ongoing struggle to find a serviceable point guard. And while Payne is a nice player and has some upside, he has pretty much the same skill set as the other 17 point guards on the roster.

Payne hasn’t gotten much of a chance to prove himself yet playing behind Westbrook for his first season and a half in the league, but one thing is already brutally clear, he is just as bad of a shooter as the other Bulls point guards. He is making only 32 percent of his outside shots, 38 percent total. That is basically Rajon Rondo level of clogginess (yes I made up that word) you are hoping to be your future 1. Sure he’s quick and athletic with a long wing span, but somehow manages to only be a mediocre defender so far in his career.

Meanwhile the Bulls gave up their best outside threat, and their best two-way player outside of Jimmy Butler. I want to take a moment to thank Taj Gibson, as so many others have, for his time as a Bull. The dude was the consummate professional during his tenure in Chicago. The guy was benched in favor of two players who were atrocious on the defensive side of the ball because they could hit mid-range jumpers (Gasol and Boozer) for most of his time here and never said a word about it. All he did was show up, do what was asked of him, and somehow remain a consistent contributor to this team despite the madness going on all around him. He will be sorely missed in the Windy City and I wish him the best of luck in OKC.

Back to the Bulls plan, and I use that word loosely. As far as I can tell, GarPax are trying to clear up cap space for this Summer in an attempt to build around Jimmy. I am only speculating because the majority of insiders and experts are just as confused about what the end goal is here as anyone else. The Bulls have stock-piled four point guards (MCW, Rondo, Grant, and Payne) hoping that one of them can stick with the team as a mainstay. Wade and Rondo are signed through next year but that is still up in the air as Wade has a player option and who knows with Rondo. The only asset the Bulls have at this point is Jimmy Butler as their draft pick this summer won’t even be anything to brag about.

At this point I think all Bulls fans can do is wait and see. Personally, I have lost all patience with Forman and Paxson as they have shown no direction at all with this franchise since it was clear Rose would never be the same after his ACL injury. This trade is no exception to the theme of these last handful of years. But hey, the Bulls are in the playoffs if the season ended today so we have that to look forward to.

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Note-A-Bulls: Bulls continue dominance over Raptors with 11th straight win

The Bulls won 10 straight against the Toronto Raptors coming into tonight. Having lost three straight, including blowout losses to the Suns and Timberwolves to send them three games under 0.500, they desperately needed to make this their 11th straight win against the Raps, especially since this was their first home game after a six-game road stint. Given the Bulls’ habit of losing to sub-0.500 teams and showing up to play against stronger competition, maybe we could have predicted this. Other than a sustained second half run made by the Raptors, the Bulls led this one by 15 to 20 points for most of the game and avoided losing their fourth straight, topping the Raps 105-94 and moving to 27-29 on the season.

  • With Dwyane Wade out (sprained wrist), the Bulls reserves had to step up. They helped them take a 24-18 lead to the end the first period, including some good defense by Cristiano Felicio, and a corner three from Bobby Portis (What’s that? Some first quarter action for BP?). His time was short-lived, however, as he only ended with 10 minutes. That said, in his short time, he had six points and three rebounds with a +7 to show for his time on the court. Felicio had himself a nice game as well, and was crucial in the win. He was in the right place at the right time on defense (a testament to his own work ethic), and was a presence on the offensive side. He got 26 minutes and a +12, including 10 points on 4-6 shooting and six rebounds with two steals.
  • Jimmy Butler was finally a presence on defense. Seems like he’s been absent of late, but maybe that’s just perception. He was all over the hardwood tonight, disrupting the Raptor’s game plan by closing passing lanes and securing four steals. He did have four turnovers himself, but he more than made up for it on the other end with 12 assists. That’s an unusually high number for Jimmy, but it seemed his shot wasn’t working and he made the necessary adjustments. He didn’t make many baskets, but he didn’t shoot too many, either. JB was 2-10 from the field tonight, but managed to get to the line 19 times and connected on 15 of them, good for 19 total points in an expanded 37 minute role due to the injuries.
  • Rajon Rondo had a small stretch were he played like a real leader and came alive in the second quarter with 10 points. He was working with the younger guys, and was decisive on offense, and even hit a couple threes. He cleaned it up a little for a while, not making any egregiously bad passes or decisions, but then had five turnovers when it was all said and done, and only four assists to offset them. He ended with 24 minutes, and those 10 points would be his only offense for the game.
  • Doug McDermott was also big off the bench for the Bulls and came back from the dead with 20 points in 32 minutes on 61.5% shooting for a +13.
  • I don’t know who these Bulls are, but they were running tonight. They had 20 fast break points, including a nice sequence of defense-turned-offense in the first half to extend their first half lead to 19. With their bench contributions totaling 54 points, the Bulls were able to expand the lead to 23 at its peak.
  • The Raptors’ struggles continue against the Bulls. Their shooting woes from beyond the arc were part of the reason for their downfall tonight – just 5-20 from deep; they couldn’t hit their first three until the third quarter. It also didn’t help that they couldn’t get to the line as much as the Bulls. Just 24 attempts compared to the Bulls’ 35, resulting in a disparity from the charity stripe of 28-19. Coming off the bench, DeMar DeRozan seriously struggled. He connected on just five of his 19 shots – a big reason for many of the Raptors’ empty possessions.
  • Up Next: It doesn’t get any easier for these Bulls, hosting the second place Boston Celtics on Thursday. The Raptors head home to play the Charlotte Hornets.

Note-A-Bulls: Bulls win by a hair thanks to a late whistle

After a rough night getting trounced by the Atlanta Hawks for three quarters Friday night, the Bulls looked to rebound against a perennially struggling Sacramento Kings team at home on Saturday. The second night of a back-to-back is always rough, and the Bulls have been known to demonstrate an inability to get motivated for sub-0.500 teams. But thanks to a questionable foul call on DeMarcus Cousins against Dwyane Wade with just seconds remaining in the game, the Bulls were able to hold on to victory, 102-99, improving to 22-23.

  • Neither team held any substantial lead, as it was neck and neck the whole way. The largest lead of the night was the Bulls by nine, but it was very short-lived, and only in the second quarter. There were 17 ties in the game and 15 lead changes. It seemed whoever had the ball last was going to win, and with Wade’s breakaway missed dunk coupled with a phantom shooting foul call on Boogie in favor of Wade, the Bulls got just that, as Wade’s free throw would be all they would need.
  • In a game that was so tight, with neither team holding a lead for very long, and neither boasting a double-digit lead, the difference may have been at the free throw line. The Bulls had a decided advantage of 28-16 from the stripe; Jimmy Butler made all 10 of the free throws he was awarded, while the bulk of the others (12) came from Dwayne Wade.
  • Wade had a solid showing, putting up 30 points on 9/20 from the field, six rebounds, four assists, and four blocks. He got to the charity stripe 15 times, the most out of any player on the court. Still, his +/- was the worst of any Bull, at -11. However, two of his three steals were on key possessions late in the game to help seal the deal. Up one, with under 15 seconds remaining, he picked Boogie Cousin’s pocket, leading to a Michael Carter-Williams dunk on the other end.
  • Jimmy Butler had a noteworthy game, per usual. Butler scored 23 points on 6/14 shooting, with five rebounds and seven assists. He struggled with his shot a bit down the stretch, which is rare for his superman status, and looked uncomfortable with the double team, but was able to be bailed out by his teammates. Butler is still proving to be by far and away the most valuable Bull on the court – in 39 minutes, he led the team with a +14, which is impressive, considering how tight the game was. In those 9 minutes he didn’t play, the Kings gained an 11 point advantage.
  • There aren’t too many sequences that we get to point to this year, so when one sticks out it’s a nice little bonus. One such sequence occurred tonight in the second quarter, after the Bulls began the quarter with a 24-21 lead: Rajon Rondo helped the Bulls get off to a fast start off the bench with a beautiful lob to Cristiano Felicio. The following possession, Rondo whipped the ball on a cross court bounce pass baseline to Paul Zipser for the corner three ball for a quick 5-0 run and an eight point lead.
  • We thought Doug McDermott may have broken out of his slump last week, with a 31 point showing against Memphis but has been just 5/18 for 12 points in the three games since. He had just three points on 1/5 shooting Saturday night.
  • A word about Boogie Cousins. He had a monster game: 42 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocks, and a couple huge threes and some clutch and impressive moves to the basket, but the Kings couldn’t get it done, as there was no other Kings player in double figures (yikes). He’s posted seven 40-point games in his career, but the Kings are now just 3-4 in those contests.
  • Up Next: The Bulls travel to Orlando to face the Magic on Tuesday, while the Kings are back at it Monday night in Detroit.

Note-A-Bulls: McBuckets gets hot and Jimmy finishes the W in fashion as Bulls down the Grizzlies in Me

One of the more undervalued traditions that the NBA does each season is that every Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Memphis Grizzlies play a home game to honor the Civil Rights Leader. One day after beating the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis, the Bulls hopped on their charter to play in the annual MLK game at the FedEx Forum. Memphis is about the last team you want to play in a back-to-back, because of how hard they play and the mentality they had as a team.

Proving they are one the best fan bases in the league, the FedEx Forum was filled with navy blue. The Bulls sported their typical red road jerseys, while the Grizzlies sported their alternate dark blue sleeved jersey. Robin Lopez squared off against superstar Marc Gasol at center court, and Bulls basketball was on the air. Continuing to serve as the starter in lieu of the struggling Rajon Rondo, Michael Carter-Williams gained possession off Lopez winning the tip. Taking advantage of his start tonight, Paul Zipser was the first player to register a point in the game. As one might expect when playing the Grizzlies, the quarter started out very slow, and points were at a premium. Both teams occasionally got the ball to sink home, as the first half of the quarter wasn’t very eventful. As the first quarter pushed on, the Bulls offense continued to spiral. Missing open jump shots, free throws, and inefficient basketball led to the Bulls scoring fourteen points in the first quarter. However, Memphis wasn’t able to capitalize on the Bulls poor offense in the first. The score after one was 19-14, in favor of Memphis.

The second quarter was about as opposite a quarter as one could see in a basketball game. Points were not at a premium in the second quarter. The first four minutes of the quarter were almost all Memphis, as they extended their lead to seven at the 8:40 mark. JayMychal Green hit a three to give them that seven-point lead, and the Bulls took timeout. This timeout proved to be of large significance for the Bulls. After the timeout, the Bulls offense woke up.  Keeping on the theme of extended playing time, Doug McDermott took charge of the Chicago offense. He scored ten consecutive points for Chicago, which allowed the Bulls to tie the game at thirty-three, and eventually gain the lead. Of course, Memphis started to see their shots fall, and countered the Bulls’ hot offense. Chicago did jump out to an eight-point lead at the 3:33 mark, and could keep their offense hot until the clock hit triple zeros for the half. McDermott accounted for twenty-two of the Bulls fifty-two points, and Chicago led by six at the half.

The second half began with the Grizzlies cutting the Bulls lead to six off another JayMychal Green three. The Bulls offense looked like it was keeping its game within the first few minutes of the half. Taj Gibson was doing his best to keep the Bulls lead intact, as he had four points and two rebounds in the first five and a half minutes. After the Grizzlies took a timeout with just under six minutes to play in the quarter, Memphis was able to hit their stride. The Bulls led by seven when the timeout was taken, and after the ageless veteran Vince Carter drilled a three, the Grizzlies cut the Bulls lead to two points.  “Vincesanity” kept his hot hand going, as he scored Memphis’ six straight points. But the Bulls were not letting VC give the Grizzlies a lead. Doug McDermott hit a massive turnaround jumper to keep the Bulls lead at three. The third quarter ended just how you would expect it, with Zach Randolph popping a three to give the Grizzlies a one point lead.

Unlike most games for the Bulls, they did not let the momentum for the Randolph three get to them. The second unit pushed the Bulls off to great start in the fourth quarter, as they opened the quarter on a 7-0 run. Rajon Rondo looked useful in the opening minutes of the quarter, as he had a steal off Tony Allen and an assist to Cristiano Felicio. However, continuing to play their style, Memphis would not let the Bulls close the door. Mike Conley hitting a running jumper with just over seven minutes to play to cut the Bulls lead to one. As the minutes dropped, the game got closer. The color analyst for the game, Doug Collins, thought this game would end in the eighties. However, both teams eclipsed the 5:40 mark.  The amount of time continued to shrink, and the Bulls continued to cling on to a small lead. Taj Gibson missed the Bulls’ eleventh free throw of the night, and two possessions later Mike Conley tied the game after hitting a pair of free throws. Jimmy Butler hit a step back jumper with under twenty seconds to play that put the Bulls back up two, and on the other end forced Mike Conley to take a poor shot. The Bulls still led with under ten seconds to play as Doug McDermott got fouled. Dougie hit both free throws, and the Bulls picked up a strong win.  The final score from Memphis, 108-104, in favor of the Bulls.

This game was exactly what you’d expect it to be. The Bulls started out slow after a late game last night, to a team you’d expect to start out slow. There wasn’t much that you could compliment or knock the Bulls on for this game. They had a good offensive outing, considering they played last night, but their defense wasn’t great either. It was nice to see the Bulls’ offense come alive without the likes of Dwyande Wade and Nikola Mirotic. That should instill some confidence for head coach Fred Hoiberg going forward. The biggest knock on the Bulls for the night was how poor they were at the free throw line. You are just asking your opponent to stay in the game if you miss more than ten free throws. This game could serve as a large gain of momentum for the Bulls, as it was a nice win. The Bulls are back to .500 and will travel back to the United Center to take on the struggling Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday.

Note-A-Bulls: Bulls Bench Bests James and the Cavaliers

Bulls. Cavs. In Cleveland. LeBron. Wade. Kyrie (okay, no Kyrie). Love (okay, no Love). Rondo (okay…. no Rondo). But LeBron! And Wade! Okay, they were both a bit under the weather. It wasn’t quite the blockbuster that was hyped – the first time these two cities have faced off since the World Series – but the Bulls have a history of beating LeBron James’ teams during the regular season and tonight was no different, as the Bulls improved to 18-18 with a 106-94 victory, giving the Cavs their 8th loss of the season, and only their 3rd at home. This is the fifth time the Bulls have bested the Cavs in two years.

  • Out: Kyrie Irving (hamstring), Kevin Love (illness), Rajon Rondo (sucking)
  • In: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James (“flu-like symptoms”)
  • The Bulls started the game down 15-2 and it looked like they were just going to get steamrolled. But the bench had other ideas. They helped them climb back in it for a six point halftime lead. In the first half, Nikola Mirotic and Doug McDermott combined for 26 points on 10/14. Dougie McBuckets on his own was a perfect six for six in that first half, three for three from deep, with 15 points in the second quarter alone. Meanwhile, the starters had just 22 points on 10/28.
  • Part of what got the Bulls back in this game and helped them build the lead (as large as 17) was ball sharing. They rarely had possessions that were owned by one player, save for a couple of Wade/Butler instances. The Bulls assisted on 23 of 41 field goals, which is about their average for the season, but that 36 point second quarter saw the ball hopping around and finding good shots.
  • The offense did a great job working through their 4’s and 5’s, and Taj Gibson was the main beneficiary of it, having himself quite a nice game with 18 points on 9/10 shooting and seven boards to boot. But should the Bulls trade him? Great piece by our former colleague Jake Weiner.
  • The Bulls three point shooting was in full gear tonight. They’ve been atrocious this year, last in the league in both points scored per game and three point field goal percentage by a long shot. However, they didn’t seem to care tonight, like, really at all. They shot 30 three pointers and made 13 of them. If Jerian Grant wasn’t chucking, and the Butler waste-three at the end of the game didn’t count (okay, I know they do, but still), it would improve to 12/25 – three from Jimmy Butler, three from Wade, three from Dougie and three from Threekola. That’s fun stuff right there. I don’t care who you are. Now, if they can just get MCW to stop shooting threes…

  • Although Butler had an off night, he came through in a big way in the fourth quarter with ten straight points. One particular sequence with about six and a half minutes to go in the game was especially crucial. With Cleveland closing to within one point, Butler took a charge on LeBron, hit a three, altered a shot at the rim on defense, nailed a jumper, and then got to the line the following offensive possession, all in the span of about a minute and a half. Momentum, Bulls.
  • Fortunately for the Bulls, James would not have his own “flu game.” He did have a typical LeBron game though, at 57% from the field with 31 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists, but he also had five turnovers and couldn’t make up for the production loss from missing Irving and Love. He also had the worst +/- on the team (-13) but probably more of a function of being on the court for the most amount of time than anything else (36 minutes).
  • UP NEXT: The Bulls host Toronto on Saturday. The Cavaliers begin a road trip in Brooklyn on Friday.