Friday, April 19, 2024

The One Chicago Bulls Guard Who Deserves More Attention


After Alex Caruso’s late scratch due to his lingering foot injury, Chicago’s chances of defeating the Atlanta Hawks on the road dropped a few notches. If it weren’t for a career night for the Bulls’ recently emerged guard, they would’ve suffered a second consecutive loss to Eastern Conference foes. The 24-year-old has seen slow growth through his first two seasons, but in his third campaign a few months in, things are starting to click. Coby White’s led by example, and this young guard has followed suit recently in representing one of the best young backcourts in the league.

Ayo Dosunmu’s Historic Night

In the starting lineup for just the 13th time in 52 appearances this season, Dosunmu played 39 minutes for the fifth time in seven games. For the second consecutive game, he made five three-point field goals, a number he hasn’t reached any other time in his young career. He’s also shooting 12-for-15 over his last three outings from three-point land and sniping 55.6% from deep range during February.

Chicago posted a season-high 136 points as a team, thanks to 20 or more points from four of five starters and a 55.4% field goal percentage overall. While the defense lacked Caruso, the offense was firing on all cylinders. Four out of five starters also had at least five assists and one or fewer turnovers.

Dosunmu’s 2024 Outburst

The former Illini guard’s last two games have not been a flash in the pan or a fluke. He’s increased his points per game by at least two in every month so far this season, and his season’s average sits at a career-best 10.1 points per game on 50.7% shooting from the field alongside his best figure from three-point territory at 41.1%. In seven of his last 11 games, he’s put up 15 or more points, including three of 20 or more.

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Deep-range improvement and playing more downhill have just been two things the Bulls’ third-year guard has worked on this season. His defense remains underrated, holding Trae Young to a frustrating outing for the All-Star snub. While 19 points and 14 assists may seem like an impressive stat line, he only shot 21.4% from the field, including 2-of-10 from beyond the arc, and was a team-low minus 14 plus/minus.

Last offseason, many wanted to see the Bulls part ways with Dosunmu. Seeing minimal improvement over his first two seasons and no natural fit in the lineup, it was seemingly time to part ways with the former second-round draft selection. At only $7 million for each of the next three years, this may be one of the best under-the-radar steals across the league. Interestingly enough, many could argue he’s already shown more improvement in less court time than Patrick Williams, who’s in his fourth season and battling to earn his next contract.

Did the Bulls fanbase give up too quickly on Ayo Dosunmu, or is this month a strike of luck given the increased playing time for the 24-year-old guard? Can he sustain this efficiency and effectiveness once he returns to his normal bench role?


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Feb 14, 2024 12:45 pm

I never gave up on Ayo. He just seems to get lost in the shuffle. Out of the three most valuable players that the Bulls have, The only one that gets any real attention is Alex Caruso. The other two who get near zero attention are Andre Drummond & Ayo.

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