“Get him confidence, man,” Beverley said, according to a March 27 story by Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s a long season; it wears on you. With the change in the roles, for young guys, older guys, my position is: It’s not competition. ‘You’re the future point guard. My job is to help you get there faster.’”
Beverley was signed February 21 and Dosunmu was promptly sent to the bench. It’s the second time this season that the Bulls’ opening-night starting point guard was demoted.
In his second year, he hasn’t regressed (outside of his 3-point efficiency) so much as he’s stalled – his numbers are similar to those of his rookie season, to the point that he’s again averaging 8.8 points per game. But Dosunmu has been a consummate professional, something he proved as a second-round rookie thrust into a starting role after multiple injuries, most notably to Lonzo Ball, who remains out and could be out through all of next season.
That certainly adds extra emphasis to Beverley’s words, especially as Dosunmu gets set for restricted free agency this offseason.
The 22-year-old Chicago native has kept his head, even encouraging his teammates.
“I sent a text out in the group chat today early and just trying to explain the urgency of the season,” he said during a walk-off interview on ‘Bulls Postgame Live” on NBC Sports Chicago following a win over the Charlotte Hornets on February 2. …“Every game matters. We can’t afford to drop any games. We have to go out there and play like each game is our last. And we did that tonight and that’s just my mindset the rest of the season. Try to go out here and finish the rest of the season strong and go out with a bang and just try to keep winning and keep building great habits for our team.”
Patrick Beverley Boosting the Bulls Veterans, Too
It doesn’t take much to give Zach LaVine a confidence boost, but Beverley certainly has, and he has from the very beginning.
“Give credit to Pat for coming here and giving us a jump of life — vocal leader, energy — and give us credit for understanding the situation and going out there and playing desperate,’’ LaVine said, per Cowley. “I feel like I’m supposed to be doing this. You put the work in, trust the work, understand what you put into the game, and the game rewards you. It helps us get wins. Keeps us on the attack.’’
LaVine’s resurgence began long before Beverley arrived.
Beverley’s outspoken nature can rub some the wrong way, but he has been embraced by his new teammates on his hometown team.
Bulls Have to Back Up Patrick Beverley’s Antics
Right out of the gates in their March 29 tilt against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bulls should expect a different team from the one they saw just a couple of days earlier, especially after Anthony Davis’ ominous warning and Beverley did this to LeBron James.
James was making his return after missing 13 games with a foot injury, and the Lakers are chasing a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Heading into their March 29 game, they held the ninth seed in the West, a half-game behind the New Orleans Pelicans.