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Bulls Summer League recap: SummerBulls run over the SummerRaptors

Carlik Jones and speed demon Dalen Terry led the way for Chicago

2022 Las Vegas Summer League - Chicago Bulls v Toronto Raptors Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

After a slow start, your Summer League Chicago Bulls took care of the Summer League Toronto Raptors today in Las Vegas, winning 93-83, though the game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score suggests.

The Bulls are now 2-1 for the short season.

The Summer Bulls once again rolled out a starting lineup of Carlik Jones at the point, old friend Malcolm Hill at shooting guard, future Rookie of the Year (not really) Dalen Terry at small forward, new two-way player Justin Lewis at power forward, and future Summer League MVP (not really) Marko Simonovic at center.

Fun Bulls side note: the Raptors started their own new undrafted two-way signee, 6’6” Ron Harper Jr. out of Rutgers, at small forward.

Led by Delano Banton going 4-4 on threes, the Raptors built a 17-7 advantage through the middle of the first quarter. A Sindarius Thornwell lay-in capped an 11-0 Chicago run at the end of the frame to get Chicago on top, 18-17. Some excellent finishes (including the slick up-and-under below) from a turbocharged Terry helped the Bulls close out the period up 24-19.

The Raptors chipped away at Chicago’s lead early in the second quarter, getting within two of Chicago. But the Bulls never fully surrendered their edge.

A Terry Euro-step in the second quarter capped off an 8-0 Chicago run to build the Bulls lead to double digits.

One of the most promising moments of the quarter was combo forward Justin Lewis swatting the heck out of a driving Christian Koloko (Terry’s college teammate) layup attempt at the rim. Lewis proved a formidable defensive force all night, be it against 7’1” center Koloko or the Raptors’ litany of switchy 6’7” guys.

Dalen Terry was incredibly active throughout the first half, particularly inside. He opted not to rely too heavily on his jumper, getting most of his offense through drives and free throws (he went 6-of-7). Terry went 4-of-5 from the floor overall in the first half, and would attempt and miss just one more field goal in the game, finishing with 14 points, five rebounds and two assists. The birthday boy (he’s 20!) flashed plenty of promise as a playmaker, defender and fast-break scorer. As our Cash Considerations team noted, the jumper still needs work.

In the third quarter, Carlik Jones cooked players on pick-and-roll actions (with plenty of help from Marko Simonovic screens). The 24-year-old point guard helped Chicago carve up Toronto 29-18 in the period. Jones finished the night with a team-high 17 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting line, plus five assists, four rebounds, a steal and just two turnovers.

The 6’1” Jones went undrafted out of Louisville in 2021, and signed 10-day deals with the Mavericks and Nuggets during the 2021-22 season. He played a grand total of five NBA games, averaging 4.6 minutes. Jones was an All-NBA G League Third Teamer last season, averaging 22.1 points in 10 games for the Mavericks’ NBAGL affiliate, the Texas Legends.

Thanks to that spectacular Bulls third quarter, the game was effectively over throughout the fourth period. The most interesting on-court Bulls moment was a Makur Maker finish:

After a spectacular opening Summer League contest, Simonovic has fallen to earth in his last two games. Tonight against Toronto, he scored 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the floor, pulled down three boards and dished out three dimes. Though he’s supposedly added muscle to his frame, he still seems to struggle against legit NBA-caliber bigs. Fortunately for Chicago, only Koloko fits that description on Toronto, and he had an off-night, finishing with just five points on 2-of-8 shooting. Simonovic’s pick-and-roll game with Jones may have been the most exciting element of his night.

Lewis notched just six points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field, plus three rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. Malcolm Hill enjoyed a nice all-around game, scoring 11 points with a pair of triples and a nice dunk, but the Bulls better not use their second two-way slot on a 26-year-old with a defined ceiling.

Next up, the Bulls will square off against Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets on Thursday.