Rookie guard Ayo Dosunmu has started the past two games for the shorthanded Bulls, and Sam Smith of Bulls.com writes that he’s earned that opportunity. A Chicago native, Dosunmu played well in his first start, notching 11 points, six rebounds, and eight assists in nearly 42 minutes during the team’s win over Denver on Monday.
Coach Billy Donovan is a big fan of the rookie and says he possesses an innate desire to improve his game.
“I really love coaching him because you can really, really talk to him in a way he wants the truth,” said Donovan. “He wants to get better, he wants to grow, he wants to hear what he has to do to improve. For me as a coach, when you see a young man with that much hunger and desire to want to be good… he wants to hear it all and I really respect that about him. There’s a lot on his plate and he did a great job not only starting (Monday) but playing the number of minutes he did.”
Smith relays that Dosunmu, who went to the University of Illinois, located in Champaign, asked to be announced as “From Chicago” in his first home start, like former Bulls MVP Derrick Rose.
“I like to be proud to say I’m from Chicago because I know the ups and downs of the city,” said Dosunmu. “I’ve been here my whole life. I’ve seen so many things, so much tragedy. For me to be in this position, doing what I love at the highest level, anytime I get an opportunity to show love to where I came from, I always love to do that. I’m from Chicago. Chicago, Illinois. I love Champaign, but I’m from Chicago.”
Here’s more from the Central:
- Bryan Fonseca of BasketballNews.com makes the case for Cavaliers big man Jarrett Allen to earn his first All-Star nod this season. Fonseca notes that Allen has posted career-high numbers in several categories for the 14-12 Cavs, including a ridiculously efficient 71.7% true shooting percentage, which ranks third in the league.
- Speaking of the Cavaliers center, Joe Vardon of The Athletic tweets that Allen will be strongly considered for the next Team USA squad under new head coach Steve Kerr. The World Cup takes place in 2023, with the Olympics in 2024.
- With a record of 4-20, the Pistons rank dead last in the NBA. However, Rod Beard of The Detroit News believes that coach Dwane Casey‘s job should be safe. He notes that the Pistons have struggled to make open shots all year, which is a player problem, not a coaching issue. The team believes in Casey’s ability to work with and develop young players, Beard adds.
- The results might not be showing it yet, but James L. Edwards III of The Athletic says the Pistons are in a much healthier place this season compared to the last few. He points to several young players on rookie contracts, another potential top pick this summer, and cap flexibility moving forward as reasons why the outlook is brighter in Detroit than it might appear on the surface.