Tuesday’s bummer news about Kris Dunn’s sprained MCL is a monster blow to the Bulls. By the time he gets back their record will be in the shitter. Dunn isn’t this year’s potential All-Star like Zach LaVine, but he’s often my favorite player to watch. I remember last year, before Zach came back, when Dunn figured it out and started running the show like a true NBA point. He’d get in foul trouble because of his aggressive defense, but I’ll take that any damn day over someone who plays lackadaisical D. He took the big, end-of-game shots and made ’em, even though he isn’t the most feared shooter. That little arms-high jumper of his from the lane became deadly. Turnovers along with fouls and an unsatisfactory rate of finishing at the rim were the things he needed to improve. Then that nasty injury against Golden State happened and we didn’t get to see him gel with LaVine & Lauri Markkanen. He wasn’t around Advocate Center a ton early in the summer and some random rumor arose that Dunn was on management’s shit list. I didn’t buy it and Paxson denied it. Plus, from what I saw in the preseason he spent the summer working on his game, most notably his finishing ability. Watching Monday’s game in Dallas, Dunn’ first game back after the birth of his son, was far more enjoyable due to Dunn’s presence on the court. Dunn plays hard. He plays defense. He makes winning plays. For me personally, it’s more fun when you believe your team can get a big stop on defense. Make a stand. Maybe it’s nostalgia for the dynasty and Noah/Gibson/Hinrich teams that got it done on D. Possibly it’s a Chicago thing. Perhaps we appreciate great defense a little more; from the tackles of Butkus to the tags of Baez.
It really sucks that the injury bug struck the Bulls so early in the season. It’ll probably equal another lottery appearance. I guess that means a shot at Zion Williamson, but I can’t think that way. Even last year when I knew they were tanking, I can’ help but root for the Bulls to win each game. The good news is, neither Kris nor Lauri’s injuries are in the catastrophic category. Bulls fans know all about catastrophic point guard injuries 🌹
Dunn will be back in a couple months, The Finnisher will be back a little sooner than that and they’ll both back in summer shape by the second half. LaVine will make the All-Star team, then we’ll hopefully get a glance at the future. Hornets @ Bulls tonight. Kemba Walker won’t have to deal with Dunn. Let’s hope somebody steps up. Go Bulls.