In the week preceding the first round of the NBA Playoffs, young Chicago Bulls players balance preparation and enthusiasm to reach the postseason for the first time. In a flood of practice and film sessions, veteran DeMar DeRozan urged his young teammates to slow down and enjoy the moment.
But defending the youngest players on the Bulls roster, Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White, and powering forward Patrick Williams isn’t just about going to the playoffs for a learning experience. If the Bulls want to leave the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks, the trio under the age of 22 must play at the highest level.
“We have to rely on him. I have great confidence and confidence in Ayo,” said Billy Donovan. “These are real learning opportunities for him, but I’m not worried that he will do his best for you in terms of his preparation and competitiveness.”
The Bulls didn’t expect to throw a homemade draft pick into the guard position at the starting point, but Dosunmu’s growth quickly became a silver lining in the onslaught of injuries. Dosunmu averaged 8.8 points and 3.3 assists as a rookie, playing cool against Bucks’ defensive pressure in his first two games.
Dosunmu is likely to return to the reserve in the playoffs, with Alex Caruso taking on the responsibility of the starting point guard. However, after Bucks defeated the Bulls’ secondary rotation in the last two games of the season, Dosunmu’s ability to protect and distribute the ball is important.
“(Ayo) is preparing all year round,” Caruso said. “The adversity and unfortunate situation of our team has driven him into a bigger role faster than we wanted to throw him in, but it was great to learn in the long run. It’s great to be able to gain these experiences, both for him and for our team. “
As the core of the off-bench secondary unit, all three of the Bulls’ youngest players play a major role in the game plan. He has played in only 12 games since the absence of the injury for five months, and Williams has become an integral part of slowing down the size of the Bucks.
Since then Williams’ Return to Court March 21, Coaches and teammates are encouraging a second year power forward to regain aggression around the rim. It was a break game for most starters, Williams scored the highest 35 points in his career The season finale with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday increased confidence in the victory that the Bulls’ hopes would shift to the playoffs.
White can also provide a boost with his perimeter shooting. The guards didn’t go well against Bucks — 11 to 40 in four games — and his shooting made sense throughout the season. However, a well-timed hot night can make a difference that shakes the momentum of the Bulls, who are already shooting long range with the ball.
Shot selection makes a difference to White, especially for border defenders such as Jrue Holiday.
“It’s one of the biggest challenges for security guards against them,” Donovan said. “They are so long that you have to understand what shots to take.”
Playoff basketball is different for many reasons. It has the highest stakes, higher quality of talent, and higher ratings than any of the games in which these young players participated. But tactically, the main difference in the postseason series is playing 4-7 games with the same team. line.
In a full week of preparation, the Bulls are creating a more elaborate strategy to neutralize the size of the Bucks and open up scoring opportunities.
“It’s a very detailed game plan that we have to follow to give us a chance,” White said.
However, playing the series also comes with challenges. Donovan emphasized the importance of being able to move quickly from losses. This becomes even more difficult if the player has to face the same opponent every night.
Physically, the playoff schedule isn’t as rigorous as the regular season, but repetition requires a higher level of mental strength that young players haven’t tested yet.
“This is the first time so many people have gone to the team many times and faced back-to-back,” said Dosunmu. “X and O will be released soon, so we will play hard.”
A young trio of Chicago Bulls Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White and Patrick Williams face a big first playoff test – Reading Eagle
Source link A young trio of Chicago Bulls Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White and Patrick Williams face a big first playoff test – Reading Eagle