Dunn ready to take advantage of Bulls' open competition

Updated 10/29/2017 8:41 PM
  • Chicago Bulls' Kris Dunn (32) goes up to shoot against Oklahoma City Thunder's Andre Roberson (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Chicago.

    Chicago Bulls' Kris Dunn (32) goes up to shoot against Oklahoma City Thunder's Andre Roberson (21) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Chicago.

After getting drubbed by Oklahoma City, the Bulls took Sunday off and plan to begin practice later than usual on Monday. Coach Fred Hoiberg set the schedule with a purpose in mind.

"I told them to recharge, because we're getting after it," Hoiberg said after Saturday's 101-69 loss at the United Center. "We're getting after it these next two days before we travel to Florida for two road games. (Positions are) open right now. We're going to go in and compete and see who wants to play."

Hoiberg talked about open competition for starting spots when asked if he's planning to promote Kris Dunn at point guard. Dunn made his Bulls debut Saturday after missing three weeks with a dislocated left index finger.

Hoiberg was tough on the Bulls during his postgame news conference, saying the loss to the Thunder was a "huge step in the wrong direction."

"We'll regroup, we'll get back, we'll have our hardest practice of the year on Monday, try to get back on track," he said.

There's only so much a lineup change can do. The rebuilding Bulls were at a severe talent deficit against an Oklahoma City lineup featuring MVP Russell Westbrook, with all-stars Carmelo Anthony and Paul George.

Dunn, playing with a pad on his injured finger, seemed a little rusty. He finished with 8 points, 5 fouls, 4 turnovers, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists.

But Dunn was also the No. 5 pick in the 2016 draft and one of the players acquired from Minnesota in the Jimmy Butler trade. There's an expectation he'll be the starting point guard and he'll get the chance to earn the job in the next two days of practice before the Bulls face Miami on Wednesday.

Dunn had a quiet rookie season in Minnesota, averaging 3.8 points and 2.4 assists. Dunn admitted he didn't play very well against the Thunder, but thought he was on the right track before suffering the finger injury in an Oct. 6 preseason game.

"For sure, like we like to say over here, get my swagger back," Dunn said. "Like I played when I was in college, play with that confidence. Play with that grit. I'm going to get it back. It just takes a lot of hard work, takes a lot of film sessions and just improve."

Coming out of Providence, the scouting report on Dunn was he's a good slasher, strong defender, but needs work on his outside shot. He said after the trade, he spent all summer in Chicago and worked on his shot with Hoiberg.

"I wanted to be around my teammates, build that chemistry and just work hard, work on my game," Dunn said. "I think it's definitely going to show during the season. I still need room to grow. My whole life I've been a driver. It's time to elevate my game and I think (Hoiberg's) done a great job helping with that."

Dunn also thinks he'll fit well in the Bulls' offense, which clearly lost its way during the final three quarters of the Oklahoma City game.

"I like this offense," he said. "There's a lot of spacing, a lot of shooters around me. I try to get downhill, try to create for my guys, once they hit shots, it clears things for me. So I definitely like this offense."

Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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