The Chicago Bulls and their fans have waited for a night like this for well over a season and a half. The night that Dougie McBuckets “SKA” (sometimes known as) Doug McDermott would have a career break out night. The Bulls and their fanbase have to wait no longer. McDermott, seeing an increased amount of playing time due to all of the Bulls’ injuries, was finally able to take advantage of it.
And boy did he do it in a big way, and at just the right time.
The Bulls came into the game losers of 14 of their last 19 games. They had dropped all the way to 8th place in the Eastern Conference standings, and were in danger of going below .500 for the season. It helped none that the Bulls first two opponents after the All-Star break were the two best teams in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls had already lost to Cleveland on Thursday, and it looked like loss number two was all but a certainty against the red-hot Toronto Raptors. But, ‘Dougie McBuckets’ wasn’t having it. The second-year forward from Creighton scored a career high 30 points off the bench, and led the way for a huge Bulls comeback victory.
Take a look at McDermott going ‘McBuckets’ in this quick run to give the Bulls the lead for good. As former Bull and current Bulls color commentator Stacey King says in the clip. “This is what they need out of Dougie”
Blame it on ‘The Mayor’?
Bulls’ coach Fred Hoiberg pulled McDermott to the side during Friday’s shoot-around and told him “every time he shoots the ball I think it’s going in, and to go out there and play with confidence.” Knowing that his coach had confidence in him, obviously helped McDermott to have more confidence in himself. He came into the game averaging only around 8 points per game. He has not surprisingly fallen under much ridicule in the Chicago news media. And for good reason. Dougie may be “McBuckets” from deep since the calendar turned to 2016, but it hasn’t been enough to wipe the label of ‘inconsistent’ or ‘bust’ from his career resume. He’s shooting at around a 46% clip from 3-point range since January. But, defensively he’s still a liability (not that we didn’t think he wouldn’t be coming out of Creighton) as this article from blogabull.com points out. The Bulls are already just 18th in the NBA in points allowed (102.1). Middle of the pack may not be horrible for some teams. But, the Bulls have always been at or near the top in all defensive categories in recent years. Of course, that was under former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Having a defenseless McDermott on the floor could hurt even more.
That’s why it’s so important for McDermott to be a factor on the offensive end. Especially, now with Jimmy Butler out for a few more weeks, and with the Bulls still being without Nikola Mirotic.
Derrick Rose, could use the help also. Although, it hasn’t seemed like it in two games since the All-Star break. Rose, scored 28 in the loss to the Cavaliers on Thursday, and 26 in the win versus the Raptors. Pau Gasol, added 18 points and 9 rebounds in 32 minutes. The Raptors were led by a trio of 20-point scorers in the loss. Kyle Lowry (27), Jonas Valanciunas (25), and DeMar DeRozan (22). The loss was the Raptors’ 7th straight to Chicago.