Over the past week, we have seen some nice play from the number two overall pick. Yes, Jabari Parker has finally risen. After a poor start, (and I mean really poor start) Parker has shown flashes of brilliance and the ability to be a valuable contributor to a young team in rebuild mode.
Jabari Parker’s first 17 games with the Chicago Bulls were very inconsistent and unworthy of his 20 million dollar contract. He showed a lot of anxiousness while also being hesitant at the same time.
With all the injuries and increased playing time, Parker failed to take advantage of a perfect situation.
Throughout the first month of the season, it was clear Jabari was trying to prove to the world that he’s worth the money and that he can still ball after tearing his ACL for the second time.
This resulted in very sloppy play and horrible rushed shots. Instead of attacking the rim with his speed and big body against traditional forwards, he settled for the NBA’s worst shot, the long two, on a constant basis. Also, while posting up players he would often panic with his post play which would end up in a wild shot or an offensive foul.
Known as a scorer coming out of Duke, Jabari managed to score 20 points in only three of the first 17 games. THREE.
As Shaq would say, “Turrible!”
Not to mention, the fact that he absolutely does not play any defense.
That anxiousness and dreadful play suddenly turned into doubts, resulting in a very hesitant player. I believe the noise from the outside world got to his head. All of Chicago was doubting his value and wondering if he can play at a high-level anymore.
All that chatter should stop (for the moment).
In the past week, Jabari Parker has averaged 22.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4 assists, on 51 percent shooting. He’s been phenomenal in recent games, taking a load off of LaVine’s shoulders.
With all the injuries in the front court and teams beginning to blitz and double team Zach LaVine, Parker has stepped up big time and has been a “go to” player over the last few games.
His coming out game was November 21 against the Phoenix Suns. 20 points on 60 percent shooting, 13 rebounds, 8 assists, and converting 8-10 from the free throw line. With a game like this from your second best player it should result in a win, right?
Yes, it did.
He made play after play in that game. Grabbing the board and taking it down the court like a point guard, while throwing lobs or taking it to the rack himself and getting to the free throw line. I was hopping out of my seat in excitement for Parker.
His confidence level increased and it showed the following games. Not only are his points up, but now he’s rebounding at a high level and Coach Hoiberg allows Jabari to run his own offensive sets after collecting a rebound.
Confidence is key.
Unfortunately, the Bulls have only won one game during his impressive run, posting a 1-4 record. Injuries are a big part of this, but it’s nice to see a former second overall pick get his groove back.
Due to the nature of rebuilds, the Bulls still see this as a positive. They came into the year with only one agenda.
Have their young core get better.
With the rumored return of Markkanen next week and the others shortly after, it will be interesting to see what Hoiberg does with the lineup and log jam of minutes in the front court.
The best problem a coach could ask for.
I believe with the return of Portis, Dunn, and Markannen, the Bulls can posses a high octane offense.
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