The Bulls’ summer-league experience followed a familiar story line: Successful enough to produce a good record, but it all came crashing down in the playoffs against Miami.
Fortunately, summer league doesn’t mean much in the big picture. The Bulls looked good for the most part, finishing 4-1 in Las Vegas.
But as the No. 2 seed in the summer tournament, they were eliminated by No. 18 Miami 68-62 on Thursday.
The Bulls did use some players who should be on next season’s roster, though, so here’s a recap and analysis of how they fared against shaky summer competition.
Marquis Teague: The second-year pro won’t necessarily serve as the backup point guard this season. The Bulls still could use Kirk Hinrich as the primary backup to Derrick Rose, assuming everyone is healthy.
When the Bulls chose Teague in the 2012 draft, a big selling point was his top-notch athleticism, and that was apparent in Las Vegas. Most of the time, he played at a faster speed than the opponents.
Teague’s outside shot was decent. His 4.8 assist average would have been higher if his teammates hit some makable shots. His decision-making had some flaws.
In the Miami game, the Bulls had a chance to tie midway through the fourth quarter. Teague pushed the ball downcourt and missed a wild shot against four defenders. The Heat hit a 3-pointer on the other end, and the Bulls couldn’t recover.
Teague’s final stat line was 18.3 points, 4.8 assists and 3.5 turnovers, while shooting 44 percent from the field. He will play more next season but is just 20 years old, so he’s still a work in progress.
Malcolm Thomas: This 6-foot-9 power forward is under contract for next season, although he’s not a lock to make the final roster. Thomas played in three of the five games at Las Vegas and averaged 15 rebounds, along with 11 points and 1.7 blocks.
Thomas is a perfectly reasonable choice for one of the final roster spots, but the jury’s out on whether he can be a useful NBA player, since he’s both slim and undersized.
There have been rumors the Bulls may be interested in veteran Marcus Camby, who was bought out by Toronto.
Camby is 39, and he averaged just 1.8 points in 24 points for the New York Knicks last season.
It’s difficult to see the Bulls jumping at the chance to sign him. Thomas is more likely to make an impact in practice, which is a useful skill for a 13th man.
Andrew Goudelock: The former Los Angeles Lakers guard said he joined the Bulls’ summer squad because of a decent chance to make the final roster. The Bulls are moving on without Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson, Rip Hamilton and Daequan Cook, so another scoring guard is a legitimate need.
The big drawback to this plan was Goudelock stunk in the loss to Miami, hitting 2 of 14 shots from the field for 5 points. Otherwise, he might have been the best player in Las Vegas.
In the 4 wins, Goudelock averaged 22.5 points and shot 55 percent from the field. He usually was good at creating his own shot and delivered from 3-point range (12-for-23).
The 6-foot-3 Goudelock played at College of Charleston, spent the 2011-12 season with the Lakers, then was D-League MVP last year. The Bulls have a tough call ahead about offering him a contract.
Tony Snell: The Bulls’ first-round draft pick showed some good signs. His scoring was inconsistent (11.8 points on 36.7 percent shooting). But he’s got a nice stroke, hit a few driving runners, and he has good defensive fundamentals.
Snell’s length is impressive — 6-7 with a 6-11 wingspan — although he needs to add weight to a very thin frame. All things considered, he probably won’t play much as a rookie.
Erik Murphy: The second-round draft pick, a 6-10 sharpshooter from Florida, had an interesting week.
After going 0-for-6 from 3-point range with 10 fouls in the opener, Murphy seemed better suited for a lower-level European league than a spot with the Bulls.
He bounced back well, though, and showed some toughness by playing through a broken nose.
In the final four games, Murphy averaged 13 points and hit 10 of 14 shots from 3-point range. He even grabbed 13 rebounds in Friday’s finale against Dallas.
Summer-league competition is a long distance from what these guys will see in an NBA season, but shooting 71 percent from 3-point range will work anytime, anywhere.
Murphy will carve a niche quickly is he can duplicate that performance.
Bull horns: Taj Gibson suffered an ankle injury recently and will miss the upcoming Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas. … Former Bulls assistant coach Ron Adams has landed in Boston and will be the lead assistant to new coach Brad Stevens. … According to multiple reports, Philadelphia is interested in interviewing Bulls assistants Adrian Griffin and Ed Pinckney for its head-coaching spot. Neither is considered a favorite.
email@example.comCopyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.