DeMar’s Incredible Durability, Ayo Gets Swole, Jimmy’s New Look, and Other Bulls Bullets

*Jackson-5 voice*

Just call my name … I’ll be there! DON’T YA KNOW BABY, YEAH!

  • Fans already know it, but without DeMar DeRozan’s health this season, the Chicago Bulls would have been bouncing in the sea as they watch the ship sink. Thanks to Lonzo Ball’s knee, Zach LaVine’s knee, Grayson Allen’s jerk tendencies, and Patrick Williams’ wrist, the Bulls were on the brink of disaster for the better half of the season, especially when we consider how inexperienced this roster was when it came to playing together. However, DeRozan’s steady hand is almost single-handedly the reason why the wheels stayed on. Sure, things still got bumpy, but his durability and offensive consistency were key to locking in a top-6 seed for the first time since the 2014-15 season.
  • The fact he’s started the most games over the past decade speaks volumes about the way he takes care of his body. I find it especially remarkable when we consider the kind of style he likes to play. In other words, we all know DeRozan isn’t one to avoid contact. While he may not barrel his way inside like a Russell Westbrook or LeBron James, he certainly prides himself in his ability to force fouls and get to the free throw line. Contact is something he hunts, so much so that he’s also shot the second-most amount of free throws over the last 10 years behind only James Harden, per Statmuse.
  • If anything, this is yet another reason why I actually believe DeRozan’s game might age rather gracefully. Not only does he have the kind of methodical scoring and footwork that just doesn’t disappear, but he also simply doesn’t miss a lot of games. Whatever routine he follows has worked like a charm, and I can’t imagine he stops following that routine any time soon.
  • Also, don’t worry, I knocked on every piece of wood in my house and hugged a rabbit’s foot after writing those above bullets.
  • I found myself thinking about this last night:
  • As we get further and further removed from this past season, I’m just grateful. While I certainly have my concerns about this roster’s current ceiling, nothing can really take away from the fun that the 2021-22 season provided. It was easily the most memorable campaign since the early years of the 2010s, and the fact we got to see even one playoff victory felt like a win. So, yeah, if they end up stinking it up this season – and, boy, do I hope they don’t – I’ll still remember this past season fondly.
  • The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry handed the Bulls’ a “B” grade for their offseason moves. I suppose the Zach LaVine re-signing gives the summer a big boost, but I might have them more in the “C” range. I’ll have to see how much of a difference the Dragic and Drummond signings really make.
  • AYO DOSUNMU IS GETTING SWOLE, FOLKS!
  • NBC Sports Chicago’s KC Johnson did say on the latest Bulls Talk Podcast that he’s heard Dosunmu is having a “monster” offseason. I feel like we hear that every year about a handful of young players, so I’m not going to read too much into what it means for his immediate future. However, he’s also built up a reputation for being quite the obsessive worker ever since his days at Illinois, and there is no question he’s looking stronger in the clips above.
  • My biggest question for Dosunmu next season is how can he add to the offensive end? If the team decides to move on from Coby White, can Dosunmu become a more reliable off-the-bench scorer? I expect to see his already-solid midrange game come into play a bit more, while I hope to see a bit of progress when it comes to his off-the-dribble 3-point stroke.
  • Jimmy’s new look is… wow. Do we think he’s actually about to play like that?
  • Lu is at Bears camp today, so make sure you’re following BN Bears for the latest!

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