At this point, the best player for the Bulls this preseason has been Zach Lavine. The hustle on defense and the complete confidence and execution on offense proves it. Zach has seemed to adopt a new mentality of being a complete all-around player and it’s showing.
In 28 minutes last night against the Pacers, Zach scored 22 points on 6-14 shooting, including draining 2-5 of his three-point attempts. Zach also shot 80% from the free throw line, going 8-10 from the charity stripe.
On the defensive end of the floor, Zach shut down Victor Oladipo. Victor shot 4-15 from the field for just 12 points and posted a terrible +- of -12.
— NBA (@NBA) October 11, 2018
Kris Dunn also went and had himself a game last night. His numbers may have not been flashy, but they were effective. Kris posted a 4-5 shooting night totaling 9 points and had 7 assists, 3 boards, and 2 steals. Kris was everywhere last night and really helped get the offense into a good rhythm.
Of course, Kris loves to emphasize his effort on the defensive end.
Kris Dunn's goal is to be a "dog" on the defensive end. Asked what that means, he responded: "Pit bull off the leash. When you see one, how do you feel? You get scared, right? Nobody wants to see a pit bull off the leash. Where the owner at?"
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) October 11, 2018
This all starts with Kris Dunn, BP throw down was great too. pic.twitter.com/RLj6k2w9sf
— Jordan Maly (@JordanCMaly) October 11, 2018
Obviously, the Bulls won last night and there’s is not much to take away bad from last nights game. The defense played well and the offense seemed to find a groove.
One thing that is extremely concerning and can be bad is the backup Point Guard position. Cameron Payne has been a huge disappointment so far in the preseason. Last night in 19 minutes, Cam Payne scored 3 points on 1-9 shooting from the field. Cam also had 2 turnovers and often looked lost on both ends of the floor.
Through 4 preseason games, Cam has averaged 20.5 minutes a game and is averaging only 2.8PPG and 3.5APG. His shooting numbers are atrocious as well, shooting only 18% from the field and 27% from downtown.
However, Cam did have one highlight play.
— Barstool Murray State (@MurrayBarstool) October 11, 2018
Now, this didn’t happen during the game itself. It happened after the game. Jabari Parker declined to speak with reporters. Many can speculate on why, but it probably has to do with him coming off the bench last night.
Jabari Parker declined comment to reporters.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 11, 2018
The reason I have this put down under the “ugly” is that this is just not a good look. It’s been no secret Jabari has been struggling so far in this preseason. Through 4 preseason games, Jabari has averaged 24MPG and has put up 9.2PPG, 7.2RPG, and 2.8APG.
Last night was by far Jabaris best game as a Bull. He shot 4-12 for 11pts and had 6 boards, 2 assists, and 2 blocks. Though, Jabari did post a -5 he looked more comfortable.
Hopefully whatever is going on with Jabari can be settled in house before this turns into a circus. Coach Hoiberg had nothing but praise for Jabari in the post-game comments.
"I thought Jabari did some good things. Putting the ball in his hands and running some spread offense. He's an unselfish player who is going to go out and try to make the right play, and I think especially in the first half he did that" – Coach Hoiberg on Jabari Parker
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) October 11, 2018
Whatever the issue is Jabari needs to remember one thing, “You play to win the game”.