Knowing more lows than highs at the start of the season, the Bulls are looking for solutions to really rise. Last night, for example, for the trip to defending champion Golden State, Billy Donovan decided to change his usual starting five.
Ayo Dosunmu – Zach LaVine – DeMar DeRozan – Pat Williams – Nikola Vucevic. Of the 22 games Chicago has played this season, those five have been hit 16 times. But not this Friday against the Warriors.
The youngsters Dosunmu et Williamssecond-year and third-year player, respectively, were effectively not drafted with the LaVine–DMDR–Vucevic trio. In their place? Alex Caruso and Javonte Green, two more experienced players and perhaps better suited, in Billy Donovan’s eyes, to compete with Golden State’s fearsome starting five early in the game. Compete, the Bulls did well during the first quarter (35-33 for the tie to Stephen Curry), before seeing the Warriors gradually widen the gap until the Bulls’ big run in the final quarter, which unfortunately wasn’t enough was not for Chicago (119-111 loss).
#Bulls‘ new starting lineup of Caruso, LaVine, DeRozan, Green and Vucevic played 1 minute together when they entered tonight.
They are -3 in the first 5+ minutes against the Warriors’ starting 5, which has the best total plus/minus of any 5-man lineup in the entire NBA.
Bulls are also 2-6 on FTs.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) December 3, 2022
After the meeting, Billy Donovan explained his decisions, indicating that he particularly wanted to “See what this new series can deliver”. It is true that the Bulls are still looking for each other with their disappointing record of 9 wins for 13 losses, characterized by great successes such as against Boston or Milwaukee, but also by really not glorious defeats against Oklahoma City or Orlando. However, there are also specific reasons, especially regarding the fourth pick of the 2020 Draft Pat Williams.
“One of the things we’re trying to do is make him more aggressive. The fact that he is on the field with three very good offensive players such as Zach (LaVine), DeMar (DeRozan) and Vooch (Nikola Vucevic) sometimes limits his opportunities. I told him that I want to see him more aggressive, that we need someone to boost this group. I think it can help his development. »
– Billy Donovan, via NBC Sports Chicago
Pat Williams, who is often responsible in defense, remains discreet on the other side of the field. And yet it is not the lack of confidence. Could this new role off the bench, albeit less prestigious, help him let loose a little more? We ask to see, Williams finished with 7 points on 3/9 shooting in 19 minutes yesterday.
Anyway, if we’re to believe the words of friend Billy Donovan, nothing seems to be set in stone when it comes to rotations. The Taurus coach said he was satisfied with the contribution of these two youngsters to the second unit (9 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists for Dosunmu on 4/4 shooting in 21 minutes yesterday) and maybe they will take their place of titu in the future.
But in the meantime, Ayo and Pat will have to accept their new role.
Source text: NBC Sports Chicago