It’s been a rough season for the Chicago Bulls so far, so when they went down by as many as 11 points in the first half to the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, the outlook was bleak. But luckily, they turned things around in the second quarter. They flipped a then-10-point deficit into a five-point lead by halftime. And Ayo Dosunmu led the charge.
While he only scored four points in the second quarter on 2-for-2 scoring, he nabbed two steals and completely changed the pace of the game for the Bulls. Dosunmu provided the team with a spark when they needed it most.
“First thing I told him coming out was, ‘That quarter was because of you,’ ” DeRozan said. “The energy he brought, getting out in transition, the layups and getting those steals. I let him know that without him, that quarter would not have happened.”
Dosunmu played so well that head coach Billy Donovan decided to close the game with him.
“I closed with [Dosunmu] today,” said Donovan. “You could have closed with Torrey [Craig]; you could have closed with Patrick [Williams]. I just elected to go with him because I thought he was playing really well on both ends of the floor. He was playing well defensively, in particular guarding [Cade] Cunningham.’’
After the win, Dosunmu explained his approach.
“That’s pretty much what I try to do, just play my game when I get out there,” Dosunmu said. “Push the pace, bump up the energy and the joy.”
By coming off the bench, Dosunmu is able to pick up the slack in ways that others may not.
“I have a unique way of viewing the game because I can see what the game needs,” Dosunmu said. ‘‘That’s something that I have taken away from coming off the bench, being able to read the game and understanding what needs to be done and what’s lacking.”
Dosunmu finished the game with 13 points, one rebound, three assists, and three steals while shooting 6-of-7 from the field. But perhaps most impressively, he was a team-high +19 on the night.