Each week, one of the Chicago Bulls is chosen as our featured “Player of the Week.” Along with that, there are two honorable mentions. Players are chosen based on the player’s past week of performance. Our Twitter followers are asked for their opinions, which are then taken into consideration for the choices made. D.J. Augustin is the featured Bull for the week of March 16-March 22.
The following statistics are accurate as of March 25, 2014.
The bench unit for the Chicago Bulls hasn’t been quite the same since the infamous Bench Mob was dismantled nearly two seasons ago. Then again, the Bulls haven’t been quite the same since Derrick Rose went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. It didn’t help that Rose was sidelined once again early this season after suffering a medial meniscus tear.
Despite that all, the Bulls have become known for their ability to overcome the odds. A large reason they’ve been able to do that this season is D.J. Augustin.
Augustin was waived by the Toronto Raptors on Dec. 9, 2013. Four days later, the Bulls officially signed him, and what a steal it was.
His first game in a Chicago uniform wasn’t anything spectacular, as Augustin finished the night with one rebound, one assist, one steal and two fouls while shooting 0-for-3 from the field. Keep in mind, though, this was in twelve minutes of play, and it was only his first game.
Since then, though, Augustin has proven to be a steal for the Bulls. He’s averaging 14.1 points and 5.0 assists in 30.4 minutes of play. This past week the backup point guard averaged 15.75 points, 2.75 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 31 minutes of play.
Not only was he the leading bench scorer last week, but, putting aside Derrick Rose and Luol Deng’s past contributions, Augustin has become the team’s leading scorer. He is also second in assists behind Joakim Noah and has the best three-point and free throw shooting percentage at 41.6 and 88.6 percent, respectively.
He’s made such a impact on this Bulls team, and his teammates know it.
“D.J. has been playing great basketball and we wouldn’t be in the position we’re in right now if we wouldn’t have picked him up. He’s playing really confident,” Noah said. “We wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for him, that’s for sure.”
The position Augustin has with the Bulls, though, is one he hasn’t had the chance to be in for a while.
“This is probably the most comfortable I’ve felt in a long time, maybe since my Charlotte days and just getting an opportunity,” Augustin said. “Being out there playing and playing through mistakes. (Head coach Tom Thibodeau) gives you the opportunity to play through mistakes and that just helps a player’s confidence level.”
Augustin’s become an important aspect of this squad, so his comfort and confidence levels must stay up. When he achieves his own personal success, it will translate in Chicago’s success just as it has since his arrival.
Taj Gibson: Gibson continued to make a strong case for Sixth Man of the Year with averages of 14.5 points, 8.75 rebounds, 1.75 blocks last week. He also had double-doubles in two of the four games.
Joakim Noah: It’s no wonder some have made the argument for Noah in MVP talks with his recent play. Last week, he continued his overall prowess by averaging 13.75 points, 10.75 rebounds, 6.25 assists, 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals.