The great Songaila

After starting out very slowly, Darius Songaila has been playing extremely well:

Last 10 games, data compiled from Doug's Stats:
G MPG PTS/30 FG% TS% REB/30 A/30 TO/30
10 21.3 14.5 54.7% 59.3% 4.8 2.3 1.3

He has been lights-out the last 5 games, shooting 63.3% from the field with a TS% of 67.2. (since Songaila doesn't shoot 3's or get to the line much, the TS% won't be that much different than the FG%. But it's still fancy to use)

When watching the games, what makes him stand out is the ease at which he plays on offense. He's the Bulls best screener and definitely best passer in the frontcourt. Especially when paired with Kirk Hinrich, Songaila can play a nice 2-man game, which the guard appreciates:

"Darius has been huge for us, You could tell right away in practice that he's played a lot of basketball. He has a knack of making plays. He's not the quickest or most athletic, but he'll be able to drive his guy and make an open shot.

We need that from our bigs. We do a lot of stuff where they have to have the ball. It's pick-and-pop, pick-and-drive and make plays. He can really do that. It seems like he's always making smart plays out there for us.''

Undoubtedly a lot of this comes from his days in Sacramento, where playing with teammates like Divac, Miller, and Webber meant that big men were often expected to be the facilitators of the offense. Maybe it's because of too many years watching Eddy and Tyson, but it's refreshing to see a frontcourt player like Songaila run a play or two.

When Songaila was signed I knew he could score and had a reputation as a hustle player (if not great defender), but had no idea he could help the offense overall like this.

Scott Skiles attributed Darius' slow start to not being in shape at the start of the season, due to his Free Agent status keeping him from working out. So hopefully that start was an anomaly, and this recent surge will be what the Bulls can expect the rest of the way.

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