With the NBA Summer League over, ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin analyzed five players who impressed him over the time in Las Vegas.
Bulls rookie Bobby Portis found his way onto the list, alongside Karl-Anthony Towns, Noah Vonleh, Kristaps Porzingis and Emmanuel Mudiay.
Here's what Helin and PBT saw from Portis:
3) Bobby Portis (Chicago Bulls). The Bulls were surprised on draft night when Portis was still available at No. 22, and they have to be pleased with his Summer League showing. In his Vegas debut, Portis had 23 points and 7 rebounds playing against No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns. His later games weren’t as impressive statistically, but new Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg raved about his motor and intensity. The Bulls’ frontcourt is crowded, but Taj Gibson is coming off recent ankle surgery, Pau Gasol is 35 and Joakim Noah looked like a shell of himself last year, so it’s easy to see a scenario where Portis plays significant minutes this season. He looks ready. (SH)
Not a bad first impression.
On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, the Bulls Outsiders team of Matt Peck, David Watson, and John Sabine join Kevin Anderson to talk about the series premier of ‘Bulls Outsiders’ Thursday night. Hear about how the show came together and what they are hoping to bring to the Bulls fanbase this season. They’ll also share their bold predictions for the season including two potential end-of-season award winners from this roster.
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
We all know what Zach LaVine is capable of doing on the offensive side of things. But what about his defense?
It's no secret that LaVine has had his fair share of struggles on defense, but Kris Dunn thinks highly of his 23-year-old teammate and what his potential is at the other end.
"On the defensive end I just told him, 'You're as fast as me. You're more athletic than me. There's no way you shouldn't be a good defender in this league. You could be one of those guys who could be dynamic in the passing lanes because you're so athletic and fast.'" Dunn said of LaVine. "And personally, I like to score. If you get in a passing lane, that's a dunk for yourself and because you've got so much bounce that's when you get the crowd on their feet — maybe do a windmill, a 360, something.
"But I think he's been going a good job on the defensive end. It's not going to be easy. We all got to learn and I think we're all trying."
Improving his defense would obviously be a big step forward for LaVine (and the Bulls), and he knows it.
“I think I had a lot better focus on the defensive end,” LaVine said when assessing his preseason. “I had some mistakes too, but I wanted to go out there and just really hone in on being more focused down there. I felt like I did OK with that. Still some areas I want to get better at, definitely off-the-ball I think I did a lot better than I had before.’’
LaVine and the Bulls travel to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Thursday night in their season opener. You can watch Bulls Pre- and Postgame Live on NBC Sports Chicago before and after the game for highlights and analysis.