New Year, new team? Kinda looked like it. Tonight it was Jimmy Butler’s team as he was the lone Alpha with Wade being out and Rondo a DNP. I’ve always liked Rondo. Was he the best fit for the Bulls? Probably not, but I’ve always been a fan. To be honest, I kinda liked how the Bulls played tonight without him.

Obviously the major highlight of the game was Jimmy Buckets dropping 52 points, and that was nothing short of spectacular. But there were some other key takeaways from this game that the Bulls should definitely try to implement moving forward.

Isolating Doug in the Post

I’m not sure why the Bulls haven’t given Doug isos in the post more often. I mean he only played power forward in college and look how that worked out, 31,000+ points.  I feel as if the Bulls have underutilized McDermott, especially when he’s been the hot hand. There’s two things I’d like to see the Bulls run to get Doug more involved in the offense. One of course is more isos in the post, and two is using Doug in PnR sets.

Having Doug as the screener and popping in PnR sets would allow him for more shots on the perimeter. With Micheal Carter-Williams starting at point now, this would be a good set to run with Doug, as MCW is effective in driving and kicking.

 

New Lineup Surrounding Taj With Shooters 

With Rondo being out of the rotation as of right now, I wouldn’t mind having Jimmy or Wade handle the ball. Using a lineup of Jimmy, Wade, McDermott, Niko, and Taj doesn’t sound like a bad idea. We saw a variation of the lineup tonight, minus Wade who was out, but surrounding Taj with shooters. This lineup would have a lot of potential scoring and play making, but only if the Bulls could consistently shoot the three, something they’ve struggled with. Giving this lineup more minutes together might help that cause.

Spotting Up Denzel Valentine 

The rookie started the game hot from three until he rolled his ankle driving to the rim. The Bulls ran a spot up play for Valetine on the top of the key where he hit the three-pointer 2/3 times. Where has that play been all season? Once that ankle is healed up, the Bulls should consider running more spot up plays for Valentine. Who knows, maybe more looks for the rook will improve the Bulls three-point shooting.

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