Apparently the Miami Heat own the Chicago Bulls, even in Summer League. The second seeded Bulls fell to the Miami Heat as Erik Murphy didn't do much shooting, Andrew Goudelock showed why he's not in the NBA, and Tony Snell couldn't find the basket.
The one bright spot for Chicago? Marquis Teague had another brilliant game attacking the rim, getting to the free throw line and hitting near half his shots again. Teague's been outstanding all Summer League long.
Despite the rather fake drama above about losing to Miami, there's plenty to be happy with about the Bulls performance overall. The Bulls heavily played the only five guys with a shot to make the roster (Snell/Teague are locks, Murphy is a near lock, and Goudelock/Thomas at least have a shot), so Bulls fans got to take a peak at what the end of the bench might look like.
There's typically nothing too serious to take away from Summer League, but it's hard not to be impressed with how improved Marquis Teague looked across all the games. He was aggressive getting into the lane completed no look passes all week and looked like a very high ceiling player. The competition may be lower, but Teague looks like he's made legitimate improvements to his game.
Will they follow into the regular season? Who knows. However, Teague has the speed and ball handling of a starting PG, probably better than many starting PGs. He's starting to show improved finishing and passing as well. Teague played only a year in college and was young for his class as well, so while many Bulls fans weren't too excited about his potential, Teague still has plenty of time to prove himself.
I feel a lot more confident that he'll do just that.
Malcolm Thomas shows consistent effort, and the Bulls could probably do worse than keeping him around as the emergency 6th big. There are rumors that Chicago is chasing Marcus Camby, and if they can grab Camby then so long Malcolm Thomas, but Thomas has shown enough in his multiple looks with the Bulls over several camps, Summer Leagues, and limited game action that he's viable if the Bulls can't find anyone else.
After two games, Bulls fans were begging to bring Andrew Goudelock into camp, and well, they still might be. However, if they're still begging for it, then it's after seeing bad Goudelock for two games as well. Goudelock lit up the scoreboard twice, but he also was completely miserable twice as well.
That's not necessarily a problem. John Lucas or Nate Robinson would both have similar up and down performances, but frequently the whole Bulls team is miserable on offense so having one of those guys come in and fail isn't always much worse than what they'd be doing anyway. However, when they come in and succeed it completely changes the nature of the game.
I don't know whether Goudelock will have a shot, but I hope he chooses the Bulls camp and the Bulls consider him.
Snell and Murphy are a bit harder to judge. Unlike the rest of the guys mentioned above, we've not seen them do much of anything before. Snell impressed more with what were his reported weaknesses than his strengths. He didn't shoot all that well, but he rebounded the ball very well, made good decisions by and large, and looked like he had a role player mindset.
It will be interesting to see how he fits in with the real Bulls, but he definitely has potential to fill the Bruce Bowen niche that so many teams, Bulls included, want to fill.
Murphy was about what you'd expect so far. He had a couple good shooting games and a couple not so good ones. He didn't show much of anything else. The one thing I'd note about Murphy is that he hesitated to take open threes at times and also had a moderately long release. He kind of reminds me of Andres Nocioni as a three point shooter in that he'll need a little bit more room to get his shot up than another guy might.
When he gets up with the real club, he'll have to prove that his NBA three point range is legit as well as prove that he's not scared to take the shot and immediately fire on his open threes. A guy like Murphy who isn't giving you much outside of shooting can't hesitate to shoot IMO. I'm not surprised, but a bit disappointed that he didn't show much of anything else.
He's got legit size/bulk, so I was hoping that he'd be a bit better on defense/rebounding than his college stats showed, but he wasn't. I think he makes the roster as a stretch four, and he'll get end of game opportunities when the Bulls go offense/defense and need more shooting on the floor. That said, he's definitely a niche player and looks awfully far away from the skillset needed to play even role player minutes.
The Bulls still have one Summer League game left, the consolation game after losing to Miami, so we'll get to see who can finish out things strong in that one. However, through four games, I generally like what I've seen from Chicago. It's worth noting the Bulls are coming to Summer League with what should be one of the weaker rosters yet have still performed admirably.