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Doug McDermott out to start Circus Trip due to concussion protocol

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McDermott will miss at least Tuesday’s game against Portland, and likely Thursday’s against Utah as well

NBA: Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls sharpshooter Doug McDermott won’t travel with the team as they begin their annual Circus Trip this week due to being in the NBA’s concussion protocol. McDermott will definitely miss Tuesday’s game against the Blazers, and head coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters Monday that while the forward could be cleared to play on the six-game trip at some point, it’s doubtful he’ll be available for Thursday’s game in Utah.

McDermott entered the concussion protocol after a nasty fall against the Wizards over the weekend:

This is already the second time this season McDermott has entered the concussion protocol. He missed a game on Nov. 2, but this time it seems a bit more serious.

It’s been a rather odd start to the season overall for McDermott, although all small sample size caveats apply. His three-point shooting has taken a step back down to 36.4 percent from 42.5 percent last year, but he’s also taking less threes per game. In five out of six November games, he’s taken two or less threes, which doesn’t seem ideal given this roster. He’s at 2.4 three-point attempts on the season after firing up 3.2 per game last season.

On the other hand, McDermott is shooting twos at a 58 percent clip, as he’s been deadly around the rim and from mid-range. The Bulls have also been better offensively with him on the court, so his gravity has meant at least a little bit (the defense still is not too good). Whenever he gets back, hopefully he starts chucking up a few more threes.

But for now, the Bulls will likely look to a group of young players to fill McDermott’s void. Rookie Denzel Valentine, Jerian Grant and Paul Zipser could get an increased opportunity, or perhaps R.J. Hunter gets a chance. Hunter was just recalled from the D-League’s Windy City Bulls after playing two games there. He averaged 17.0 points and 4.5 assists, but he shot just 31.3 percent overall and 21.1 percent from three.