Ayo Dosunmu is choosing up the place he left off — and the Chicago Bulls are assured he’s in retailer for extra: ‘He has a huge ceiling ahead of him’
Every Chicago Bulls recreation on the United Center begins the identical manner — a raucous cheer as the general public handle announcer calls “Frommmm Chicago” to welcome second-year level guard Ayo Dosunmu to the courtroom.
Dosunmu’s entry into the NBA was extra rushed than deliberate. In his second season, the 22-year-old is helming the Bulls offense but once more with Lonzo Ball injured.
But after being thrown into the deep finish as a rookie, it’s clear that Dosunmu has developed from a stopgap to a distinction maker this season.
“He has a huge ceiling ahead of him,” coach Billy Donovan stated. “He’s got a huge, huge growth opportunity ahead of him.”
Dosunmu spent his summer time within the Advocate Center fitness center, working together with his father and the Bulls teaching employees to enhance his taking pictures type. Despite taking pictures over 50% as a rookie, Dosunmu needed to hurry up his launch to be faster off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot alternatives.
The ensuing confidence in his shot is barely aiding Dosunmu in making decisive performs.
“I’m at a point right now this year where even if I miss it, it feels good,” Dosunmu stated. “I’m just continuing to do the same work that I put in, continuing to keep getting my shots up. The development coaching staff did a great job of that, watching film with me, continuing to encourage me in that area to see that I put the work in. So now it’s all about showing it.”
Dosunmu has been displaying it within the early weeks of the common season.
Although his taking pictures from the sphere is on par with final season — 51% for 12.6 factors per recreation in comparison with 52% for 8.8 factors per recreation — it’s his 3-point taking pictures that exhibits the most important leap in enchancment thus far. Dosunmu is taking pictures 45% from behind the arc, a seven-point enhance from 2021-22.
While it’s nonetheless early within the season, Dosunmu’s improved long-range accuracy is a promising signal.
“He’s shot the ball well from the corners,” Donovan stated. “I feel confident with the work that he’s put in, the preparation he’s put in. Every player is going to have good nights and bad nights so a lot of it’s going to be just based on him putting the work in each and every day.”
While improved perimeter taking pictures provides a layer to Dosunmu’s offense, the guard’s recreation nonetheless revolves round getting downhill and directing the offense.
Donovan is urging Dosunmu to assault the rim. The Bulls feed off the younger guard’s aggression, which may pressure defenses to break down and create openings for Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević.
“We’ve tried to create spacing for him (Dosunmu) when he is coming down the floor, where he’s got room to do that and to be aggressive,” Donovan stated. “That’s something he’s put a lot of time and attention and focus on. If it doesn’t help (him), it’s going to get (him) a pass to the next option. So we do need him attacking.”
When Goran Dragić arrived in Chicago, Dosunmu instantly sought him out earlier than coaching camp periods, spending 20 minutes at a time choosing the veteran guard’s mind for expertise over practically twenty years as knowledgeable.
That eagerness to be taught has been Dosunmu’s calling card since his early days as a Bull. He nonetheless referred to himself as a “rookie” till he stepped onto the courtroom for his first recreation of the season. Dosunmu is approaching his second season within the league with the identical inquisitive focus as his first.
“I definitely still have a lot of room to improve, a lot of ways where I can get better,” Dosunmu stated. “I’m learning game by game. That’s really my main thing. I want to just keep learning.”
Yet regardless of his constant curiosity, Dosunmu’s teammates have observed a change within the guard this season — extra assured, extra confident, extra vocal. Dosunmu commonly grabs teammates — from rookies reminiscent of Dalen Terry to the veterans like Andre Drummond — to manage pep talks and provides in-game recommendation.
Although Dosunmu rose to his function as a frontrunner final yr, LaVine stated it’s solely to be anticipated that Dosunmu’s steering would develop after shedding the rookie moniker.
“Experience is the best teacher,” LaVine stated. “Coming out last year, being put in that position and then flourishing in it — experience is the best thing for all of us. In our careers, we gain the most from experience and opportunity.”
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