Words by Joshua M. Hicks
The Bulls moved to 2-0 in the Patrick Beverley era after defeating the Wizards 102-82, winning
through the effective scoring of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, solid defense and the
offensive boost from Coby White.
In a back and forth first half, turnovers became an even point of emphasis thanks to the Bulls
not only committing 6 turnovers, but also the Bulls forcing 7 turnovers on the defensive end.
While the Bulls continued a strong defensive front against the Wizards attack, they hung close
due to the triple threat scoring of Nikola Vucevic, LaVine, and DeRozan. The Big Three
combined for most of the team’s points, while LaVine started the game hitting 5 of his 6 shots
from the field, giving the Bulls a 27-25 lead after the first quarter.
The Wizards never wavered, continuing to put pressure on the Bulls through the playmaking of
their leader Bradley Beal, who had 7 points and 5 assists prior to the half. But LaVine continued
his offensive surge, finishing the first half with 17 points. Both teams struggled to take care of
the ball, committing 9 turnovers each, but the Bulls remained in control thanks to DeRozan’s scoring
with a 47-45 lead at halftime, despite shooting only 9 percent from the 3-point line.
LaVine started the 3rd quarter where he left off, scoring the first basket of the second half. The
team followed suit and never looked back, being aggressive on both ends of the floor. The Bulls
forced 7 more turnovers and continued to attack on the offensive end. Beverley’s timely all-
around play came up big in the final minutes of the game as the team expanded their lead to
double digits late, helping the Bulls pull away with the victory. DeRozan (29 points) and LaVine
(27 points) led the way offensively for the Bulls.
Beverley continues to impact the team on both ends of the floor. Even though today he didn’t
have a great offensive night, his efforts were felt on the defensive end through his energy and
Most importantly, his veteran presence was put on display in the late game situations
offensively, bringing a calm/poise to the team that helped settle down the offense and put the
team in the best positions to win overtime. This is an element that head coach Billy Donovan
appreciates and believes at times is really necessary.
“The communication between him and I is great,” Donovan said. “We’re always talking about
getting the ball where it needs to go and he has a real good handle on that. He’s smart, bright
and has a really good voice that he can walk up and command the ball.”
Beverley’s presence is an asset for young guys like Ayo Dosunmu, a second-year player still
learning the point guard position despite being a starter for the majority of the season. Donovan
thinks Dosunmu and other young guys like Patrick Williams, Dalen Terry and Coby White will
eventually learn the importance of playing in a poised space consistently.
“There are times where we need to get settled,” Donovan said. “For Ayo, as good of a job as
he’s done, that’s an area he continues to get better at and grow. I don’t think it’s an area that
we’re missing, it’s a growth part for our team that we’re trying to grow in.”
With White being mentioned as one of the young guys continuing to grow on this team, his
growth showed on the offensive end, giving a big boost offensively with 17 points and 3 assists.
“[White] is like a microwave,” DeRozan said. “When he gets going, he’s going to warm up. He
affects the game in many ways. His ability to create his own shot and go down hill is incredible
and opens up a lot for us on the court.”
LaVine concurs with DeRozan, emphasizing that if the Bulls were to go anywhere near the
playoffs, White is going to be needed.
“Scoring is natural for [White],” LaVine said. “It’s not like he hasn’t done that before. It’s great to
see him in that rhythm, we’re going to need him. When he has big games and he shoots the ball
like that, he’s the spark plug that helps us win a lot.”