NBA Playoffs: 3 X-Factor Bulls that could surprise us, 2 that could fall flat

Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) /

Could Fall Flat: DeMar DeRozan

Make no mistake, I’m not claiming DeMar DeRozan is likely to play poorly in the play-ins and beyond here. In fact, I’d say he’s probably the player on this team I trust most to show up and do what needs to be done. After all, he has a wealth of postseason experience under his belt, while most of the rest of the roster are still relative newcomers to the big dance.

In fact, DeRozan’s 41-point explosion in last year’s playoffs is the only reason the Bulls avoided a humiliating four-game sweep to the Bucks. Outside of that one exceptional game, however, DeMar averaged just 15.8 points on a miserable 35.9% shooting from the field.

DeRozan clearly has a chip on his shoulder and is looking to dispel the narrative surrounding his lack of postseason success. For that reason, it worries me that Chicago’s offense could stagnate while DeRozan runs an excess of isolation sets to carry the Bulls through.

When the Bulls call his number, DeMar is dependable as anyone in the clutch. But going away from the team-oriented brand of basketball this team has been playing lately would just be asking for trouble. Although DeMar was the first option last season, it’s actually LaVine who’s narrowly leading the team in both points and field goals attempted per game this season.

With the way Zach’s been playing as of late, I think it’s probably for the best that we keep things this way. We can all respect DeRozan for what he brings to this team, but now might be the time to take a backseat and excel as a second option while LaVine does the heavy lifting that this team will undoubtedly need on offense.