The Chicago Bulls rode a dominant fourth-quarter performance to a come-from-behind 118-95 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night at the United Center. While DeMar DeRozan (28) and Zach LaVine (24) combined for 52 points, rookie Ayo Dosunmu had the best game of his young career to spark the Bulls.
The 21-year-old Chicago native scored 15 points and grabbed 7 rebounds (both career highs) to help push the Bulls to the big win. Dosunmu had a team-high +22 plus/minus rating in 20 minutes of action. After the game, Dosunmu’s teammates took to Instagram to comment on the rookie’s excellent performance. Chicago sports insider Daniel Greenberg tweeted the collection of responses from the Bulls players:
Head coach Billy Donovan also joined in on the congratulations during his post-game presser:
Arturas Karnisovas Fan Club chimed in with some words for Dosunmu:
Cody Westerlund of 670 The Score talks about finding Dosunmu some opportunities–even after Coby White returns from injury:
The Chicago Sports Zone points out Dosunmu outscored one of the Brooklyn Nets’ megastars:
What Happens When Coby White Returns?
That’s becoming a more intriguing question with each passing day. Dosunmu’s defense and heady play seem to routinely provide the Bulls with a spark. Against the Nets, there were times where the second unit was a bit stagnant and in need of an aggressive playmaker.
Without pause, Dosunmu took on this role for stretches, and he knocked down some big buckets like this one in the process.
Dosunmu’s impact goes beyond the scoring. It actually starts with his defense and scrapiness going for rebounds and lose balls.
To put a term or label on Dosunmu, he’s a spark plug. The question is: will Coby White’s offensive punch be a bigger impact on the Bulls’ second unit than Dosunmu’s all-around play. Also, can the two play together, and if so, how will that affect other player’s minutes like Alex Caruso and perhaps even Javonte Green?
If White can prove to be an effective scorer and playmaker, he could make a huge impact, so he’ll have to get his minutes. That said, Dosunmu has been too good to be relegated to a seldom-used reserve, or to be sent to Windy City Bulls for more seasoning.
He’s proven he is ready to play in the NBA right now.
Could Ayo Dosunmu Make Coby White Expendable?
At some point, the Bulls may have to answer this question especially if moving White could bring in a power forward that allows Chicago to play a little more conventional in its starting lineup.
Dosunmu will need to prove he can score more consistently before Chicago can entertain this concept–if it’s even on their radar–but it’s not a concept I’d rule out entirely.
Dosunmu appears to be on an upward trek and he’s simply scratching the surface of what he can be in the NBA.
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