Doug McDermott had a solid start to his NBA career, then he completely fell off the map and started playing like crap. As it turns out, he was playing on a bum knee which he recently had surgically repaired. Now maybe McDermott still stinks, but maybe he can contribute. The Bulls should find out.
It's not like Kirk Hinrich and Tony Snell are lighting up the scoreboard or destroying teams with their defense. Kirk is probably the worst player in the NBA to average over 25 minutes a game. Every advanced stat, including the defensive ones, shows the Bulls suffer with him on the floor and that his contributions are minimal.
What is Tony Snell giving you? He's a 3D guy who doesn't regularly provide three point shooting or defense. He's played better since moving into the starting lineup and getting consistent minutes as virtually any player would, but his better still isn't anything to write home about.
You know who else might improve with regular playing time? Doug McDermott.
Would he be better than Kirk/Snell? Maybe. Maybe not. At this point there's very little downside to trying and plenty of upside though. For 10 minutes a game, even if he's worse, how much is it really going to hurt you? Are you scared you might lose a game you shouldn't? We've done that plenty with the existing guys.
As a team, the Bulls are really feeling the impact of not having spacing. They're missing the specific skill which McDermott brings to the table [at least theoretically]. It's time to give him a shot to see if he can bring it.
In an ideal world, I'd give him the Bogans. Start him so that he plays with quality players who will most take advantage of his spacing, get him easier shots, and limit his weaknesses defensively. It would maximize his skills by putting them where they are needed most.
The bench unit isn't missing spacing nearly so much as the starters, and the bench needs a wing defender far more than the starters. So in short, this:
1: Maximizes McDermott's skills by putting him in a place where they are needed.
2: Minimizes his weaknesses by putting him with players who can cover them.
3: Minimizes Kirk/Snell's offensive weaknesses by giving them more time with a bench unit that has more shooting.
4: Allows Kirk/Snell to better play to their strengths with a bench unit that needs wing defense.
5: Allows the Bulls to test out a player to see if he can fill a void they are obviously feeling the pain from
It's an outside the box approach that I wouldn't likely have ever considered except that our coach has already proven he'll play less effective players that need to chew up minutes in this fashion while keeping them off the floor during the critical stretches. Bogans/Boozer both served this role and it worked out okay for Chicago.
The primary downside to the approach is the pride you're hurting of the guy you pull from the starting lineup, however, there is no such guy for Chicago right now. We're just biding time until Dunleavy is back.
Maybe McDermott is just a train wreck in practice. Maybe the Bulls already know this guy isn't the guy and regret the pick. I'm hoping that isn't the case. I'm hoping we give the guy more than 200 NBA minutes before writing him off.
Anyway else think "here comes the let down game"
The Bulls haven't been consistent with effort all season, after a big win against Golden State, they walk into L.A. to play a Lakers team they should crush. However, my bet is that they don't crush the Lakers and that they instead eke out a win.
It wouldn't surprise me if they somehow manage to lose the game all together. We'll see if Chicago can muster some energy against an opponent that isn't elite. If they want to chase down the good seeds in the East, they'd better start bringing some consistency.
The Bulls currently stand a game behind Washington, a game and a half behind Toronto, and three games ahead of Cleveland whom has quietly won eight in a row. Chicago's proven they can play with anyone. Unfortunately they've also proven they can lose to anyone.
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