Sure, It’s The Preseason, But Doug McDermott Might Actually Be Good


Doug McDermott tore his meniscus, had surgery, and scored just 109 points in 321 total minutes during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls. Now, a rookie head coach might pole-vault McDermott into a spotlight role for the Bulls.

There’s no question that Doug McDermott was a huge disappointment during the soap opera that was the 2014-15 season for the Chicago Bulls. McDermott missed 28 of the 41 total three-point attempts during the 36 games he played in under stubborn head Tom Thibodeau and appeared to be a botched draft night trade return.

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Skip ahead to this past summer in Las Vegas — with new head coach Fred Hoiberg at the helm — and Doug McDermott looked like one of the best players during the circuit in Vegas. In five games with the SummerBulls, McDermott averaged a shade under 19 points per contest (18.8 PPG), while shooting 48.8 percent from the floor.

During the first four preseason games with the short-handed Bulls, McDermott has had games of 15, 16, 17 and 23 points, while shooting 47 percent from the floor. It’s funny how things changes for a player when he’s actually given a chance to produce on the floor. In those four games, McDermott has played just under 31 minutes a game (30.75 MPG).

ALSO AT PIPPEN AIN’T EASY: Doug McDermott Should Start For Mike Dunleavy

On Tuesday, Fred Hoiberg spoke to the media about Derrick Rose‘s status not only for the preseason, but for the regular season opener against Cleveland on Oct. 27 in Chicago.

"“He really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks where it could be a lingering issue,” Hoiberg said. “It’s a long season, you know, 82 games and hopefully playoffs. You want to have Derrick there for the majority of that. Again, we will take a cautious approach with it, but if he’s ready, he feels good, and our trainers and doctors feel good then we’ll throw him out there.”(K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune)"

Rose isn’t the only battered Bull as the regular season approaches. Joakim Noah has missed the last two preseason games with a sore knee, Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy are both recovering from offseason surgeries and have yet to take the floor for the Bulls. Although Hoiberg is hopeful that Gibson and Noah can both give it a go on Wednesday night against Detroit, Dunleavy’s back surgery opens up the small forward starting spot for the Bulls heading towards a rematch with Cleveland.

Enter Doug McDermott.

Now, before you completely rip my head off for overreacting to a solid summer showing and four preseason performances from McDermott against mostly role players, let’s reasonably discuss why McDermott’s case to start is growing.

With Dunleavy out, the Bulls only have two realistic options to play with Rose(?) and Butler on the perimeter for Opening Night: Tony Snell and Doug McDermott. Not only has Snell been a disappointment during the preseason, he tweaked an ankle late in Monday’s loss. The ankle roll isn’t considered serious, and Snell thinks he’ll be back “in no time“.

Once again, Doug McDermott is here to greet you.

In 31 three-point attempts during the four preseason games, McDermott has hit 16 of those shots. His confidence is at an all-time high in his young career. His three-point shooting is why you traded two first-round picks to get him two years ago. Why not at least try him in a starting role on Wednesday night? It would be basically be a trial run, and could turn out to be a big positive for the Bulls down the line.

Next: Bulls Preseason: The good, the bad and the ugly from Monday's loss to New Orleans

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