On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Stacey King joins Mark Schanowski and Kevin Anderson to talk about the Bulls offseason, how Jimmy Butler fits in Minnesota, and what he expects out of the team in the near future. Stacey also explains why there’s still a place for a defensive center in today’s NBA and the moment that he knew his pronunciation of ‘Giannis Antetokounmpo’ was going to go viral. Plus you don’t want to miss Stacey’s inside info on how close the Bulls came to cutting Jimmy Butler in his second season. That and more on the Bulls Talk podcast.
Try telling Antonio Blakeney that Summer League doesn't matter.
The guard's strong play in Las Vegas over the last week earned him a Two-Way contract with the Bulls, meaning he can play for both the G League's Windy City Bulls and in the NBA.
Blakeney, 20, has appeared in four Summer League games, averaging 16.8 points, five rebounds and just under one steal per contest. It's pretty safe to say that he's been one of the squad's few bright spots in Sin City. While fellow guard Denzel Valentine has struggled to find his shooting rhythm, connecting on under 30 percent from the field this summer, Blakeney has shot 43.8 percent.
He didn't come out of nowhere, though. Blakeney had tons of hype out of Oak Ridge High School in Florida and was selected to play in the McDonald's All-American Game before taking his talents to LSU, where joining forced with 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons. That experiment didn't quite work out for Blakeney, who failed to reach the NCAA Tournament in both seasons and went undrafted in 2017.
For the Bulls, it's a chance to take a flyer on a young, athletic guard who proved he can shoot in college.
It also gives fans more chances to catch his absolutely nasty dunks, whether it's in Hoffman Estates or at the United Center.
Antonio Blakeney gets up for the baseline dunk! https://t.co/hizOG3ZTG2— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) July 10, 2017
That's just ridiculous.
It’s just summer league, but the Bulls put up some miserable shooting numbers in Las Vegas on Monday.
The Bulls lost to the Hawks 75-55, which sounds bad enough by itself. Some of the deeper statistics are sure to make even the most optimistic Bulls fans a bit depressed.
As a team, the Bulls went 4-for-35 from 3-point land. That’s 11.4 percent. The Bulls nearly had as many turnovers (14) and field goals made (16).
The Bulls shot 22 percent from the field (16-for-73). Only one player, former Connecticut center Amida Brimah, shot at least 50 percent from the field. He was 1-for-1.
On the upside, the Bulls made over 90 percent of their free throws, sinking 19 of 21 from the stripe.
The Bulls’ last two first-round picks, Lauri Markkanen and Denzel Valentine missed all 18 threes they attempted. Markkanen bricked 10 long-range attempts while Valentine missed eight.
Markkanen’s summer league isn’t going smoothly so far. Though he played well enough in his first game, he played with a jersey that misspelled his name. Against the Hawks, Markkanen shot 1-13 overall, although he did have nine rebounds and four blocks in 31 minutes.
Valentine was 1-12 from the field while adding nine rebounds, three assists and four steals.
Bulls down 43-24 late in the second. Imagine if they didn’t practice for two hours yesterday!— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) July 10, 2017
The Bulls will be hoping what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.