Bulls’ Ayo Dosunmu Gets Honest About Guarding Hawks’ Trae Young

Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls

Getty Ayo Dosunmu #12 of the Chicago Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls overcame a 13-point deficit to secure a 136-126 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu was tasked with guarding Hawks star Trae Young. After the game, Dosunmu spoke openly about his success and the challenges of facing off against Young.

“He’s one of the better guards in the league,” Dosunmu said via The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry on February 12. “My length is able to affect him. But he’s a good player, and he brings the competitiveness out. I love competing against him because every play you’ve got to be ready.

“He can reject [a screen], he’s a pick-and-roll maestro. He throws the lob, throws the corner. So you gotta just be ready. But I love it … Playing against him, this my third year now, so we had a lot of battles. It’s fun. Just keep stacking it up. That’s why you want to make it to the NBA: to be able to play against the best, compete against the best.

“It’s always fun guarding him. It’s always fun competing against him.”

Young finished this game with 19 points, shooting 21.4% from the field. That includes a 2-for-10 clip from beyond the arc. It’s a trend for the three-time All-Star against the Bulls guard.


It still took a career-high 29 points from Dosunmu – who added seven assists, two rebounds, one steal, and one block – to get the win. The assists were a season-high for the former second-round pick as he put on an offensive display.

Ayo Dosunmu’s Career Night Keys Bulls

Dosunmu shot 66.7% from the floor in the game, including going 5-for-7 from downtown. Not known as a strong shooter, Dosunmu is shooting 53.6% on 3.8 attempts per game over the last 18 games.

“Ayo’s pace and tempo in that second quarter really got us back in the game pretty quickly,” Head Coach Billy Donovan said during his postgame media availability. “He was downhill.”

Dosunmu tallied 13 points in the second quarter.

“Part of the reason why he’s shot the ball better, one, is he’s invested a lot of time in it,” Donovan said. “But the other thing too is, if you watch him, he’s always ready to shoot. He’s got his feet and his hands ready, and he’s ready to make the next play, the next decision.

“He’s put a lot of time into it. And whether it was him knocking down some threes or getting to the rim, he did some really good things tonight.”

Dosunmu also noted the impact of Bulls Player Development Coach Peter Patton.

“He’s very blunt with me,” Dosumu said, per NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson on February 12. “If I shoot a couple the wrong way, he always corrects me right away. And I thank him for that.”

Bulls Lose Alex Caruso Pre-Game

Both teams entered the contest shorthanded. The Hawks entered without starting center Clint Capela and backup point guard Patty Mills. The Bulls are without Zach LaVine for the rest of the season.

Chicago also had to make do without Alex Caruso, who sat out with a foot injury after working out before the game.

“Donovan said Caruso got his foot stepped on [versus the Orlando Magic], tried to test it at shootaround but can’t go vs. Hawks,” Johnson posted before the game. “Huge loss for Bulls against high-powered offense.”

The anticipated impact of Caruso’s absence only underscores Dosunmu’s effort on the night.