It was another solid all around offensive effort from the Chicago Bulls in their 115-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. Four Bulls starters scored in double digits and had Nikola Mirotic score 24 points off the bench, needed on a night where Lauri Markkanen was nonexistent scoring the basketball (3 points on 1 of 7 shooting from the field). As a team, Chicago shot 45.7% from the field and a respectable 35.7% from three-point land. Unlike how the offense ran throughout their winning streak, it was a more efficient performance and not reliant as much on hitting their mid-range jumpers, scoring only 16 of them in this game.
Perhaps the Bull who stood out the most was Kris Dunn, performing on both ends of the court. He recorded a double double of 20 points and 12 assists and was a pest defensively, notching 4 steals in a game where Milwaukee had 20 turnovers as a team.
Dunn’s biggest basket came in the final minute of the game. It helped seal the victory for Chicago and a play which perfectly captured the offensive growth Dunn has shown this season. With Chicago up 109-104, a basket would surely end the contest and they put it in the hands of their starting point guard. Here, Dunn makes an amazing drive to the basket and amazingly finishes over Giannis Antetokounmpo, one of the lankiest defenders in the NBA.
Dunn drives and scores on Giannis. pic.twitter.com/zj8QzuRCwM— ⓂarcusD (@_MarcusD2_) December 27, 2017
With 10 seconds left on the shot clock and majority of the players on the other side of the court, it’s pretty obvious this will be an isolation play for Dunn. He begins with three quick crossovers before an explosive first step to his left towards the paint. With the first step, Dunn now has the advantage against Antetokounmpo, who is slightly trailing Dunn as he reaches the dotted half circle. Now, the usual thing which happens in this situation is that the Greek Freak’s long arms come out of nowhere to swat the eventual layup. But it did not happen this time. Dunn does a good job of using his left arm to shield himself and the ball away from Antetokounmpo, who made up the space between him and his man with a swift leap. While shielding the ball, Dunn is able to flip the ball off the glass with his left hand and the ball bounces around the rim before dropping in, sealing a victory for Chicago.
In the last 10 games, Dunn has averaged 14.8 points, 8.5 assists, and is shooting 43.8% from the field. It’s a huge leap from some games we even saw earlier this year. He’s begun to show the ability to both score and facilitate, registering 2 double digit assist totals in the previous 3 games. Finding his teammates for easier baskets is part of the progression for any young player and Dunn has seemed to grasp it.
With Zach LaVine coming back, Dunn’s role in terms of scoring will surely decrease as right now he’s at 21.9 field goal attempts per game. He will move down the chart in terms of dependency of points and it will be a big test for him. The next step in his game will be becoming a more efficient player when he can’t shoot as much as he may now be used to. He still has a lot of work to do, especially regarding his jump-shot from 3, but Dunn has shown a lot of promise.
Dunn is growing up quickly this season. We knew he was a very solid defender when he was traded from Minnesota, but questions remained about his offensive production. Dunn has answered the critics claim about that for now.