Ayo Dosunmu earns starting point gud spot to beg Bullseason
เวลา:2022-11-22  ผู้เขียน:

When it all began for the Bulls it was four-time All-Star Guy Rodgers, who went on to lead the NBA in assists that season.

Six years later it became three-time All-Star Norm Van Lier, who with backcourt partner Jerry Sloan defined the storm of the 70s Bulls.

Not too many others were great ones, but they left a legacy, the list of usual suspects including Bobby Weiss, Rick Adelman, Wilbur Holland, Ricky Sobers, Ronnie Lester, Kyle Macy, Ennis Whatley, Steve Colter, Sam Vincent, Khalid El-Amin, Greg Anthony, Jay Williams, John Paxson, B.J. Armstrong and Kirk Hinrich.

Before Derrick Rose ever so briefly flashed across the Bulls landscape that featured 30 different players in franchise history starting the season at point guard.

Next week it will be Ayo Dosunmu, the Morgan Park High School and University of Illinois product who has gone from overlooked 2021 second-round NBA draft pick to this season trying to help run the Bulls to the NBA finish line.

Im thankful because this is a great organization and we have a chance to do something special, so for me to be named point guard thats a blessing, Dosunmu said in the post game locker room after Tuesdays 127-104 Bulls win over Milwaukee when informed of coach Billy Donovans decision. I will continue to work hard and take it day by day to get better. Just try to come out swinging from the get go.

Its not exactly new for Dosunmu, who often replaced injured starter Lonzo Ball last season. Though it seemed temporary because Ball always was supposed to return and others auditioned for the position.

Now after a second knee surgery this year, Ball figures to be out at least months. The Bulls signed veteran guard Goran Dragić this summer, presumably for Ball insurance since they still apparently were unsure about his diagnosis and treatment. So when training camp began late last month, one of the biggest questions was who would start at point guard among Dosunmu, Dragić and Alex Caruso.

Dosunmu started all four preseason games, providing an obvious signal. Then Donovan said he planned to limit Dragics playing time at his age, and it seems like because of his defense Caruso is targeted to close most games. Donovan apparently doesnt want to risk foul trouble given Carusos hellacious style of play.

So its Dosunmu, who has proven reliable and worked on his shooting this summer, making 60 percent of his threes until a zero for one Tuesday.

I just want to show what I went through last season (that) I learned from it and got better from it, said the 22-year-old former Bob Cousy top point guard winner in college. Good or bad, I want to always learn. Thats how you get better as a person on the court and off the court, by learning from your mistakes and also learning from the positive things you did well. Thats what Im really looking forward to doing. Im really going to lock in this week, a lot of film, try to just to get better, study my guys (to play against), study our team on both ends of the court and be the main leader to get us going, be a focal point.

The 6-4 Dosunmu has been a tenacious defender from the start with the Bulls, though since he often played off the ball in college the point guard adjustment often has been halting. Donovan said hell sometimes play Dosunmu at small forward with Dragić at point guard, as Donovan did to start the second half against the Bucks.

My game got better (this summer) all around on both ends, said Dosunmu. I got stronger, jump shot got better. When you are a rookie out there, you are moving fast, playing hard. You really dont know what to expect getting out there and trying to fit in so your teammates can approve of your play and once that happens youll be good. Now being in my second season, me playing with the guys a lot, going through the battles with the guys I know what to expect. When we play Miami, I know what to expect, when we play the Bucks. I was able to play them two or three times, so I can really get a feel for what to expect.

What I can do is go out there and be Ayo; thats all I know, said Dosunmu. Go out there and be who I am and play to the best of my capabilities, when to attack, when not to attack, when to call certain plays, when to call Vooch pick and roll, get Zach a touch, get DeMar a touch. I wouldnt say theres pressure. Pressure is when you are not prepared. You put the work in when the lights are off; when the lights are on you shine. I put a lot of work into my game, my body and my mind, so Im blessed and relaxed. I dont feel pressure.

Its a blessing because the Bulls are the best organization in basketball history, said Dosunmu. I still have that chip on my shoulder; I still have a lot to prove. I still have a lot of more new doubters. Im OK with that. Its all about getting better and putting God first, and I think Ill be OK.

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