By Colin Mieczkowski
Tonight, the Windy City Bulls will take on the Delaware 87ers under the bright lights of the Sears Centre Arena. Similar to the Bulls,on the year.
This will feature one of the D-League’s better offensive players in Dionte Christmas, averaging almost 20 points, and a little over five assists a game. Maybe the biggest threat that the 87ers have right now however, is center Shawn Long, who went off for 30 against the Greensboro Swarm.
No doubt that Long will be coming into the Sears Centre full of confidence. Long played for UL-Lafeyette in college, and he, along with Elfrid Payton, helped carry the Ragin’ Cajuns to the NCAA Tournament in 2014.
He was also made the U.S. Pan American Men’s basketball team in 2015. Among others featured on that squad was current Chicago Bull, Denzel Valentine.
Long may be a hand full for the Bulls as he looks to try to get the 87ers over the .500 mark. A big advantage (no pun intended) that the Bulls have is that Alec Brown has the size (7’1”) to beat the undersized Long (6’9”) on the inside.
Long may have a speed advantage, but Brown can go toe-to-toe with jump shots. Brown is more willing to take outside shots however, as he took three triples in the loss to the Texas Legends.
He took just one in the game against the Swarm. Although he’s shorter, he plays more like a traditional center as oppose to Brown, who plays like a stretch big.
The Bulls also need to get shots off quicker. Numerous times during the game against the Legends, they’d pass the ball, and fight against the shot clock.
If they can get a smoother flow going, then this will lead to better shot selection, and at the right times. Ball movement isn’t the issue, but it’s where they pass the ball.
Many times, it seemed like they were just passing the ball, and not thinking about where. A lot of it may have to do with the Legends’ tight defense.
In order to try to misdirect the defense, the Bulls will have to rely heavily on off-ball movement. This will lead to great catch and shoot situations, especially for guys like Brown, who excels at a standing jump shots.
It’s also effective for guys who are good at shooting off the dribble, like Spencer Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie also is known for his sneaky ability to dish the rock off, just before he shoots and this is something he did a lot as a Detroit Piston.
He quietly has a nice crossover, as well, even getting NBA MVP Steph Curry tied in knot during a game between the Pistons and Golden State Warriors. Dinwiddie’s ability to get the assists will be just as crucial as movement without the ball.
If the Bulls do this, then they should be in great shape.
Be sure to listen to all home games and read up about the team on the official radio home of Windy City Bulls basketball, SportsTownChicago.com.