Bulls Season Rewind 17-18: Paul Zipser
Paul Zipser Season Averages:
Second-year forward Paul Zipser was a pleasant surprise for the Bulls last season. Not expected to contribute much as a second-round pick out of Germany, Zipser showed unexpected poise, a soft shooting stroke and a head for the game, even contributing to the team in the hotly contested six-game playoff series with Boston.
In his second year, on a less-established team, Zipser saw his minutes and averages decrease due to a combination of nagging injuries and a struggle to fit in with a more up-tempo system. Instead of spotting up and playing off of established isolation players and veterans, Zipser found himself having to dribble more and create his own looks, which resulted in an adjustment period and struggles again this season.
That said, Zipser remains a forward with good size at 6’8” and with a solid shooting stroke, hitting about a third of his threes. He continued to bring a solid attitude to the team and at age 23, still has time to work on his craft and use this season as a learning experience. Let’s take a look at some of Zipser’s best moments of this past year:
February 3, AT Los Angeles Clippers (Clippers 113, Bulls 103)
This was the game after the Bulls swung a trade that shipped forward Nikola Mirotic to New Orleans, leaving the team temporarily shorthanded in the midst of a west coast road trip. Thurst into the starting lineup in a game in which the Bulls were missing Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and Niko, Zipser delivered for the shorthanded Bulls and kept them competitive until the end, scoring 16 points and hitting four triples in 26 minutes.
Zipser Stat Line: 16 points (6-10 FG), 4-6 3PT, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block
December 1, VS Sacramento Kings (Kings 107, Bulls 106)
In a back-and-forth battle, Zipser was a big part of a Bulls bench that kept the Bulls in this one until the final shot. Zipser showed a little bit of everything in this game – he scored the ball well with 14 points, hit two threes, grabbed five rebounds and blocked a shot at the rim. It was the kind of performance you want to see from a wing player off the bench, and consistently putting up these kinds of numbers will lead to a long term role in the league for the German forward.
Zipser stat line: 14 points (6-14 FG), 2-7 3PT, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block
October 24, AT Cleveland Cavaliers (Cavs 119, Bulls 112)
One thing Zipser has always shown is a lack of fear in big moments. In the Bulls first major matchup of the year, against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Cavs in Cleveland, Zipser showed the moment wasn’t too big for him as he posted an all around solid game as the starting small forward in 33 minutes. He did a little bit of everything – scoring 11 pitns, grabbing 7 boards, and dishing out four assists offensively, while taking on the NBA’s toughest assignment on the other end guarding James.
Zipser Stat Line: 11 points (5-11 FG), 1-2 3PT, 7 rebounds, 4 assists