Bulls 2019-2020 Season Recap: Kris Dunn

Dunn finished the season 4th in the NBA in total steals with 101.
by Bulls.com
Remind Me Later

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Bulls Season Highlights: Kris Dunn

Season Games Played Minutes Per Game Points Assists Steals
2017-18 52 29.3 13.4 6.0 2.0
2018-19 46 30.2 11.3 6.0 1.5
2019-20 51 24.9 7.3 3.4 2.0

*65 game season

Guard Kris Dunn, in his third season with the Bulls, is a classic example of statistics not telling the full story. Despite taking a backward step in most statistical categories and seeing his role – and minutes – fall off from his first two years in Chicago, Dunn’s third season may have actually been his most impressive, as he took major steps towards finding his role on the team and establishing his name around the league as a defensive maestro.

With a crowded backcourt that added two additional point guards in free agent Tomas Satoransky and rookie first-round pick Coby White, Dunn’s role moved from a shooter to a reserve role, in which he was often asked to guard the opposition’s best backcourt scorers for long stretches. His self-described “dog” mentality – hard-nosed, big motor, passionate and never backing down from anybody – was a huge part of the soul of this Bulls team, and they missed him badly in the games where he was unavailable.

The Bulls allowed 6.8 fewer points per 100 possessions when Dunn was on the floor, and Dunn finished 4th in the NBA in total steals with 101 – surpassed by Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and James Harden. He finished 4th in the league in deflections per game according to NBA.com – giving himself a real argument to be named to the league’s All-Defense team.

Though his contributions don’t always show in the box score, Dunn was, especially on the defensive end, one of the Bulls most impactful players this season. His season was cut short with a knee injury, but Bulls fans have to be encouraged with the energy and fire Dunn brought to the table every night. Here’s a look at some of his standout performances from this past season:

DECEMBER 18, 2019 AT WASHINGTON (BULLS 110, WIZARDS 109 OT)

Dunn Stat Line: 15 points (5-19 FG), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal

In this mid-December matchup in DC, the Bulls rode an absolutely furious 4th-quarter comeback to erase a 93-75 deficit with eight minutes to play to rally and force overtime. The key – outside of big scoring efforts from Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen – was the defensive pressure, led by Dunn. The Bulls clamped down on defense to run off a quick 18-3 run, and Dunn’s hard nosed defense on Wizards Bradley Beal was the lynchpin. Dunn was the spiritual leader on defense – and his other contributions were not half bad, with his efficient 15 points tying for his second-highest scoring total of the season. Though Dunn fouled out in overtime, the Bulls don’t win this game without his efforts on the defensive end.

NOVEMBER 6, 2019 AT ATLANTA (BULLS 113, HAWKS 93)

Dunn Stat Line: 13 points (6-8 FG), 5 steals, 3 rebounds

Yeah, you read that right. FIVE STEALS. What’s even crazier about that statistic is that he did it in just over 20 minutes – meaning Dunn stole a ball once every four minutes he was on the floor. His ballhawking (as well as making 6 of his 8 shots) disrupted the Hawks, who never found their footing in this one, falling behind early and having their frustrations mount as Dunn picked pockets left and right.

JANUARY 8, 2020 AT NEW ORLEANS (PELICANS 123, BULLS 208)

Dunn Stat Line: 15 points (6-11 FG; 3-6 3PT), 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 5 steals

The final score on this one wasn’t pretty, as a poor third quarter doomed the Bulls in this midseason matchup against rising New Orleans. Dunn played hard on both ends of the floor, scoring the ball well and consistently deflecting and stealing the ball from the Pelicans on the other end of the floor, putting up insanely productive numbers in just 30 minutes of floor time. In a game in which their one poor stretch allowed the game to get away from them and with the team still reeling from losing Wendell Carter Jr. to injury the game before, Dunn and LaVine were the two bright spots on the floor.

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