DeMar DeRozan has had a phenomenal season. He put up a career-high 27.9 PPG. DeMar was playing so well, some were considering him in the MVP race at one point in the year. So why should the Bulls give LaVine the Keys?

Results of Playing Through DeMar

The Bulls had a 2-19 record against the top four seeds of each conference in the regular season. Chicago feasted off of the weaker teams where they could rely on isolation ball from DeMar, which would lead to wins.

The problem with that philosophy is that it doesn’t work against the NBA’s elite. They can make that shot difficult enough to where it’s a tough two and will live with the results. Chicago is also not strong enough defensively to consistently hold an elite offense under 100. This can’t be the Bulls’ game plan.

Why Hand LaVine the Offense?

While the offense will be limited to an extent until the front office can address the obvious need for shooting, the offense needs him. It’s time to give LaVine the keys. First of all, no expert needs to tell you that threes are worth more than twos. 

Having that threat that he can pull up scares a defense more than if they know where the player is going. Then, LaVine can also score on any spot on the floor. This means the Bulls can do a variety of sets and get other people involved in the action even if he’s the focal point. 

When DeMar gets the ball, he is going to isolate and that leads to a stagnant offense, and players becoming disengaged. Players don’t cut or move when he gets the ball because they know what he wants to do. 

Then when DeMar kicks out to a player who hasn’t touched the ball in the last four to five minutes, it’s not as natural as opposed to if they’re getting involved in the offense consistently. Sure some players (especially veterans) can do that, but the Bulls don’t have many players who can hit at the same clip when they’re not involved.

The Bulls are relying on players like Coby White, Patrick Williams, and Ayo Dosunmu who are all making their playoff debuts. They can’t be forgotten pieces until called upon to even get a touch.

Running the offense through Zach will give the offense more inclusion and will also help keep players engaged.

Chicago Needs All-Star Vuc

Another big reason why it needs to start running through Zach is that he has great chemistry with Nikola Vucevic. The Bulls won the third quarter against Milwaukee because they started feeding Vucevic inside.

Big men tend to roll more when setting an on-ball screen with a shooter. If Chicago give LaVine the keys, it will only help get Vucevic established similar to when he was back in Orlando. 

Also, no basketball coach on the planet would deny that good things happen when you play inside-out. Vucevic is a good passer to hit cutters as well as kick it out to shooters.


Am I saying the signing of DeMar was bad or that he’s toxic to the team? Of course not. But he does need to pass the torch. 

The main reason he was brought here was that he can hit that tough two even when the defense knows what’s coming and that will be key when the Bulls need a closer. He is still the fourth quarter king of Chicago.

Overall, Billy Donavon and the Bulls need to realize that their ceiling is limited playing this brand of basketball. Take the risk now and change the style of play. This will not only give your team a better chance to win now but will help evaluate how the Bulls will play next season and what players will fit best. 

Thank You for Reading

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About Author

Bradley Patten

I played basketball growing up, and always prided myself on being a student of the game. In highschool, I got a concussion that ended my career. Little did I know that it would change my life forever. During this time, I found a new passion related to basketball. I started scouting incoming prospects and fell in love with it. I also love coaching as I am a basketball coach at a local highschool. Belly Up Sports is a way for me to share my love for the game with others and get my opinions out there. My overall goal is to work in the basketball industry as a coach or scout. “To be successful, you must be willing to do the things today others won’t do in order to have the things tomorrow other’s won’t have” (Les Brown). I am well aware this is a competitive field, but I have all the determination to be one of the ones fortunate enough to make it.

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