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Tuesday, December 6

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Bulls Mon Oct 13 2014

Why Doug McDermott Should Start for the Bulls

Chicago BullsIt's just preseason and only the first NBA start for Bulls rookie Doug McDermott, but after putting together a seven point, eight rebound performance Saturday night against the Milwaukee Bucks, you have to wonder if starting McDermott is best for the Bulls. Mike Dunleavy missed that game with a left calf injury but it's nothing too serious. The small forward position for the Bulls isn't that deep with Tony Snell struggling and looking like he's going to be at the end of the bench.

The starting lineup with McDermott in it looked different and had a much better pace to it, giving a wing who he can catch and shoot, but also put it on the floor and create his own shot. The Bulls bench could use the veteran presence of Dunleavy to go along side Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson. Against the Bucks, the Bulls reserves struggled to produce points and adding a veteran like Dunleavy could help improve the depth of the second unit.

That move might provide more balance for the starting and reserve units and take pressure off Nikola Mirotic being the only front court perimeter shooter for the reserves. It also would be a good addition in size as Dunleavy is 6-foot-9.

McDermott has averaged more than 30 minutes per game in the first three preseason games, second only to Jimmy Butler. McDermott said it felt like college getting his first start for the Bulls. He seemed to get into rhythm early by getting that start. He's a player who is so accustomed to starting and playing large minutes in college and starting for the Bulls will have a huge impact for his confidence. Of course, he struggled some with turnovers and passing up open shots, but those are all things he will learn as he continues to grow with the NBA game. McDermott even showed off his play-making skills with an impressive alley-oop to Jimmy Butler

For now, Dunleavy is still the starter, but McDermott is the future for the Bulls and it would be nice to see the future start now. Unfortunately, it's rare for a rookie to get a lot of minutes under Tom Thibdoeau, let alone start unless there are significant injuries. The Bulls organization values McDermott, and coveted him for years in college. A preseason start is proof of that.

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