I should probably point out that I'm actually a Celtics' fan, so I'm really just here for Kris Dunn. Despite Chicago's record, last year, I enjoyed watching the team not only for Dunn but also due to the fact that the Bulls would actually utilize a post player in Robin Lopez. I realize that that probably sounds quite strange, but Boston has driven me nuts with their use of analytics since Stevens was hired. So all that you ever see is jumper after jumper, three after three, and nothing else, which, coupled with the fact that they did not actually possess the players needed to implement such a let's call it an "offensive philosophy", is beyond insane. So seeing anyone post up after years of, well, nothing but dumb perimeter play was something that I found to be quite refreshing, and I was hoping that that trend would continue over to this year, albeit with Wendell instead of Rolo, inside, but it seems as if you guys have caught the analytics fever, which is really depressing. The sport has become rather watered down in that all that these teams do, now, is run the pick and roll to death, and what can I say, I'm just not a fan of that style of play, as there's way too much standing around, for my taste. What I'd really like to see, or if only try, is Chicago just utilize mismatches, and if the players don't see it/them, then the coach has to point it/them out. Case in point, take the game against the Heat in Miami. It was stated if Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen had had their normal games Chicago would have won. But from my vantage point you should know going into that contest that Zach Attack is going to be defended by Jimmy Butler, so there's no advantage to be had, there, and the same goes for Markkanen being guarded by Bam "The Bodybuilder" Adebayo. Therefore, in order to break down the defense and get better shots for everyone else, you have to exploit any advantage(s) that you do have, and the most glaring one, for me, was Dunn, at 6'4.25" 205 lbs., being defended by Kendrick Nunn, at 6'2" 190 lbs. Just dump the ball inside to Kris and see what happens. Nunn isn't exactly a good defensive player, anyway.
Or at least I don't think so, so if Dunn scores a couple of times, Miami is either going to have to change the matchup or double, by which time an easy basket or two will help Kris' jumper, and then the Bulls become much more difficult to defend. When the lead was dwindling against OKC, why was Zach chucking the ball when Dunn had the advantage against Schroder and Paul, all night? You can play all of the defense in the world, but if you're not going to attack the guy who is torching you, as Chris Paul was, then you're only hurting yourself. Even though Golden State had Thompson and Durant, they would always go to Klay, inside, whenever he had a mismatch, and especially early in games, just to get him some easier looks via the post, and by the time that the opponent would change the defensive assignment, it would be too late, as now his jumper was falling. That's just how the game works, is it not?
C'mon, do you seriously expect teams to play intelligent basketball when they can draw up more spreadsheets? There've been questions about Markkanen posting up with his size. But I think Dunn is the most obvious candidate for post-up play given his size, his reach and his strength and physical nature. Markkanen's lower body is too light. Dunn's isn't huge, but he's strong enough to hold position. The Bulls were posting Dunn a few years ago, but he got hurt and things changed. Plus, you know we've all heard Brad is a genius. So if he's not why should we, eh? It's difficult to fight this narrative since just about every NBA team practices it. It's like trying to persuade a committed voter to appreciate the opponent. But perhaps there will be some change.
This topic came up after practice just this Thursday when Boylen was asked how he became this born again space-pace-chuck-it guy after coming in as Mike Fratello and the walk-up Cavs. Boylen said he always was a run and shoot advocate, but the Bulls didn't have the tools when he took over. I know, that's what Fred said. Anyway, Boylen said he called more post-ups against the Magic and that we'll be seeing more of that since it's baby steps. Boylen used the crawl-walk-run thing, and it made some sense saying he needed the players to get accustomed to playing faster and shooting and once they're confident to add things, like post-up play. I am intrigued to see Dunn get seven or eight post touches and see how the defense reacts. The question also is whether Dunn will make the correct decisions. He's another, like Markkanen, who may have more there than he's shown this season.