Man Pippen Peoples, you have no idea how happy I am going to be for the next couple of weeks. I get to watch and do analysis ON REAL GAMES! I get to watch players run around, defend, rebound and shoot the ball. This is wonderful. I may seem like I’m rambling but I think I can speak for a lot of writers when I say, I was tired of writing articles about every single rumor that was going on in free agency this summer. Believe it or not, I was getting real sick of hearing the names of Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. I was feeling sorry for Chris Broussard. Now we get to the good stuff. Basketball is back in the Windy City! Let’s get to it.
The Chicago Bulls beat the Los Angeles Clippers 86-70 in the second day of NBA Summer League games out in Las Vegas. The Bulls were led by Tony Snell with a game high 27 points, while Doug McDermott had his first taste of NBA action scoring 10 points. Billy Baron (I know, who right?) had 11 points in the game. Don’t let the score fool you Pippen Peoples. This game was never really in doubt. It was a game of runs. The Bulls would charge out to big leads and the Clippers would make a run to make the score look good for the papers.
Chicago did their own version of the running of the Bulls early. The Bulls scored the first seven points of the game carrying it to a 18-6 twelve point lead with about three minutes left in the first quarter.
After the Clippers made a run to keep it close, the Bulls took off again in the second quarter. Chicago went off putting together a 9-1 spurt to dominate the Clippers outscoring them 24-16 in the frame. I guess the summer league teams have to play defense too, holding the Clippers to 30 percent shooting from the floor. At the half, the Bulls would lead 46-35 led by Snell’s 17 points.
The two teams would continue to trade buckets for the rest of the game, but the Bulls kept the Clippers at bay with Tony Snell carrying the Bulls to victory with 10 points in the final quarter. Lorenzo Brown led the Los Angeles Clippers with 17 points. Here’s the three lessons I got out of this game…
1) What in the world happened to Tony Snell the last two months? First off. If you didn’t watch the game. You will not recognize Tony Snell. The cornrows are GONE! He shaved them off Pippen Peoples. You will be doing a double take. Another thing you will notice is that Mr. Snell has hit the weight room. He looks stronger. Bulls fans I have to admit. If players come into the fold and buy into the system, they will work hard.
Tony Snell looks like he took a couple of days off after the playoff loss to the Wizards and then went back to working on his game. It has paid off too. He looks very confident on the floor. This is not the same Tony Snell we all saw last year.
Last year, Snell looked hesitant and unsure of himself. Remember this is the same guy that had as many fouls on three-point shooters than baskets in the playoffs last year. He had no business on the floor and it showed. Snell looked scared to death. Those days are over. He has the confidence that will command minutes on the floor this year. It’s one game, but you have to start somewhere right?
Tony Snell dropped his 27 points on a very efficient 10-14 from the floor which included 5-7 from the three-point line. This is huge right here Pippen Peoples. This shows us that Snell has worked on his jump shot over the summer and is looking to help fill a void the Bulls desperately needs. With ten of those points being in the fourth, it shows that if the time comes and teams leave him open, he is capable of knocking down shots.
2) Doug McDermott looked nervous. Yeah right, like you weren’t nervous on your first day on the job right? Doug McDermott did not shoot great in the game, only 2-8 from the field. But don’t let this fool you. This dude can play.
What I look for in young players is to see if they can make an impact even if the shots aren’t going in. McDermott did just that. He rebounded the ball grabbing five. Plus he set up other players to the tune of four assists. Oh this dude can shoot from distance. He hit two bombs from three-point range. One helped a Bulls run in the second quarter. The Bulls may have traded up for financial reasons but they got the right guy. Doug McDermott is very smart on the floor. Hopefully Tom Thibodeau will find some real minutes for the man this year.
3) Watch out for Lance Thomas. He might win the last man on the bench contest. What is it with the Chicago Bulls and Duke basketball players? Well one gets shown the door (Carlos Boozer) and another potentially walks in (Lance Thomas.) With Greg Smith getting traded to the Mavericks and Anthony Randolph getting traded to the Magic. The Bulls need an energy guy off the bench. Lance Thomas could be the guy. He finished with nine points, but he played very hard and looked very good on the defensive end. If this keeps up everybody is happy. He plays defense so Tom Thibodeau is good. He’s going to get the league minimum so the front office is happy.
Keep it locked to Pippen Ain’t Easy for all of your Chicago Bulls summer league recaps throughout Las Vegas and beyond.