Summer league had me a blast;
Summer League wish it could last.
Ayo Dosunmu and the Bulls Summer League campers Monday finally had plenty to smile about as they said goodbye to Las Vegas and Summer League 2021 with a powerful 99-74 victory over the winless Charlotte Hornets.
"It was a great experience," said Dosunmu, who led five Bulls players in double figures with 19 points. "Whoever invented Summer League, that was one of the best ideas. Each and every game I tried to get better. Now with five games (2-3 for the Bulls), I know what I need to work on. Overall, it was a great experience."
Highlights from Chicago's dominant Summer League win over Charlotte.
For the Bulls second round draft pick out of the U. of Illinois, it's shooting as Dosunmu missed his trio of three point attempts and finished the five games one of 11 on threes. But the 6-5 guard, moving to point guard with Devon Dotson out with a sprained ankle and Patrick Williams leaving after the third game, like with his 26 points Sunday was efficient and effective in transition and attacking the basket.
After a slow start, Dosunmu helped the Summer Bulls break open the game in the second quarter with back to back fast break layups. He threw in a few driving baskets beating defenders off the dribble and finishing late on a pair of full court passes as the Summer Bulls pushed their lead beyond 30 in the third quarter with an array of lob dunks.
Troy Baxter Jr. from Morgan State had just two baskets, but both were dunks and one a spectacular one handed slam. Starters Jerome Robinson of Boston College, Jaylen Adams of St. Bonaventure and Tyler Bey of Colorado each had 13 points—Bey also with 11 rebounds—with Williams away after dominating the offense in the first three games. Center Marko Simonovic again had a nice effort with 10 points in 16 minutes with a driving score and a putback to open the game and establish the edge for the Summer Bulls.
Marko Simonovic dunks the ball in the first quarter against the Charlotte Hornets in Chicago's final Summer League contest
They led 17-13 after a slow first quarter, but then stacked up the scores for a 45-28 halftime lead and 76-50 after three quarters.
"I wanted to keep going," said Dosunmu. "Every timeout I was telling myself, ‘New game, new half.' Everyone was working hard to get here. I like to see people enjoy the moment."
Dosunmu did after being a support defensive player in the first three games and averaging six points. He'll go back to work in Chicago and see if it's enough to crack a guard heavy Bulls roster with the offseason additions of Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan. Ball's brother, LiAngelo, was the attraction for the Hornets in the final consolation game of the Summer League. But he had just six points on three of 13 shooting. Summer League concludes Tuesday for select teams that qualified for a mini series. The Kings and Celtics will close the week with a championship game on ESPN 8 p.m. (CT).
The Summer Bulls again shot poorly from distance with seven of 31, but they parlayed a big rebounding advantage and transition play into the easy victory.
Next stop for some is training camp, which opens Sept 28.
The Bulls used Summer League primarily to prepare Williams for an expanded role with the varsity. Williams was his most forceful as a Bull, averaging 21 points and 9.7 rebounds. Though he had a high turnover rate. The test for Williams will be how much he carries that over while starting with high level scorers like Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic and DeRozan. Plus, Lonzo Ball is an active offensive player while being a facilitator.
Dosunmu and Simonovic have places with the team, but they might be better served, at least at times, with G-league experiences rather than seats at the end of the bench. Perhaps similarly with Dotson. Those decisions will be made in training camp with the quick turnaround for the Oct. 19 start of the regulars season.
But oh those Summer League days and nights.