Kris Dunn turned in one of the more complete performances of his career in Friday night’s loss to the Pacers. He racked up 17 assists, joining some great names in Bulls history.
Dunn became one of nine players in Bulls’ history to finish a game with at least 17 assists in a game.
The other eight players in Bulls history who have racked up at least 17 assists in a game are:
Guy Rodgers, Clem Haskins, Norm Van Lier, Ennis Whatley, Sam Vincent, Michael Jordan, Kirk Hinrich and most recently (via our Chris Kamka) before Dunn, Derrick Rose.
Out of the nine players in Bulls history to get at least 17 assists in a game, Dunn actually tied Whatley for the highest field goal percentage of the bunch at 66.7 percent on 6-for-9 shooting from the field. This is yet another figure that shows just how well Dunn was controlling the flow of the offense on Friday night.
And in a more specific measure, Dunn also became only the second player in Bulls franchise history to net 17 assists and at least two made 3-pointers in a game. This one was huge for Dunn, as it represented the first time he hit multiple 3-pointers in a game this season.
Kris Dunn since getting back from injury and working his way back into the starting lineup:— Josh Eberley 🇨🇦 (@JoshEberley) January 5, 2019
Dunn has been slowly but surely improving, and as of now he is playing a role this team desperately needs. His defense has always been good--foul issues notwithstanding--but it is well documented that if he can improve his 3-point shooting accuracy, his ceiling becomes very, very different.
So while the 17 assists are awesome to see, the 3-point makes were nice too. This season, Dunn is shooting a sizzling-hot 50 percent on corner 3-point shots, and 35 percent on all 3-point shots. Last season Dunn shot 38 percent on corner 3s and 32 percent from the 3-point line. So if he has improved again as a shooter, somewhere around the 34-to-35 percent mark from 3-point range would be about right, even if it comes on a much lower volume.
Much like Russell Westbrook--the former MVP and 7-time All-NBA team member--, Dunn received much doubt over whether he could develop into a quality NBA point guard because of his lack of a jump shot. But also similar to “The Brodie”, Dunn has flashed the ability to have a huge impact on games even if his shot isn’t falling.
Dunn’s 17 assist game may be remembered down the line as a nice little reward for Bulls fans among a tough season, or it may fall by the wayside like the not widely discussed or remembered Sam Vincent 17-assist game from 1988.
But if the development of the young Bulls’ core goes as well as John Paxson and co. expect, this game may well go down as the exact moment when the Bulls’ “Big 3” finally clicked.
Just an insane game. pic.twitter.com/d3TOB5HweY— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) January 5, 2019