With their first game coming against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Chicago Bulls were looking for a strong start to their Summer League campaign.
On Saturday night, the Bulls came in with a starting lineup consisting of Ryan Arcidiacono, Antonio Blakeney, Donte Ingram, Chandler Hutchison, and Wendell Carter Jr. Coming in, there was plenty of buzz surrounding Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison because Bulls fans were very excited to see their two first round picks play in the Summer League.
The first quarter was an exciting time to be a Bulls fan. From the start, Wendell Carter Jr. asserted himself in the game. He did a great job of moving his feet, sticking with his defenders, and being a physical presence. He ended the first quarter with 4 blocks. He also had a very good offensive game where he played with intent around the hoop using many post moves and his three point shot. In addition, Antonio Blakeney looked very aggressive. He ended the first quarter with 14 points. He wanted to score the ball and get others involved.
The Bulls offense was very good throughout the entire game. They moved the ball, making the extra pass to get the best shot. Not only was the passing good, but the shot selection was very good. Instead of settling for jump shots, everyone was insistent on attacking the rim and creating chances which resulted in many trips to the free throw line (Bulls attempted 26 free throws to Cavs 18). Their defense was also very good. Everyone was communicating and the Cavs didn’t get any easy shots. In addition, the Bulls played with toughness and grit. This was impressive to see.
Although the Cavs did go on a run in the fourth quarter which resulted in them gaining the lead, the Bulls didn’t panic. Rather, they kept pushing the tempo. Led by Blakeney, the Bulls went on a run of their own. Blakeney reeled off 8 straight points to give them the lead. Another three were added from Carter and Archi. The Bulls wrapped up their first summer league game with an 86-81 victory over the Cavs.
Carter ran the court like a deer. Overshadowed by Marvin Bagley at Duke, Bulls fans finally got a chance to see his full game. He is very strong around the post and moves his feet well to block shots. In addition, he is great at getting rebounds and pushing the tempo. He constantly is looking for the ball and making the right basketball play. He had a great first game.
Antonio G Buckets. Blakeney had the best game out of all the players on the court. He finished the game with 25 points. He set the tone for everyone on the court. He was a dog on defense as well, using his quick hands to steal the ball and get into the Cavs players heads. In addition, he isn’t afraid to attack the basket and score in bunches. He has made a strong impression on the coaching staff so far.
Arcidiacono played a very strong game. He isn’t the type of player who is going to give you 20 points a night or hit you with crazy speed and atleticism. However, he offers very high basketball IQ and willingness to pass the ball. It was nice to watch him run the team because he made the right passes and moved without the ball very well. Also, he played very intense defense, often frustrating the other Cavs players. He is making a very strong case to be the backup point guard for the Bulls.
Hutchison had a solid debut in his first game. He did a good job of getting to the rim and using his size. However, Hutch did hesitate a lot on his jump shots. Rather than taking them, he would gravitate to passing the ball to his teammates. In addition, he used the same move a lot, driving to his left side and attacking from there. Although he struggled, it shouldn’t concern Bulls fans.
After a strong performance in March Madness where Loyola got 4th place in the competition, Ingram’s stock was rising. Although he went undrafted, fans were excited to watch the Chicago Native play in the Summer League. However his debut was less than thrilling. He struggled mightily with his shot and rarely attacked the basket. In addition, he seemed uncomfortable on the court. This was his first game, and he has plenty of time to improve.
Bulls play tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers.
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