Billy Donovan has no problem with a DeMar DeRozan 40-point game.
As a matter of fact, the Bulls coach welcomes it.
But he also knows that if his team is to meet the expectations of the front office and at least advance to the second round of the playoffs this season, 40-point nights can’t be the norm.
There has to be a spreading of the wealth, there has to be a game like Monday.
One night after losing to the Raptors in Toronto, the Bulls came back and beat the visitors from up North 111-97 at the United Center.
Six players in double figures, led by Zach LaVine’s 30, while two players scored nine points each, with one being DeRozan.
“You got to give credit to DeMar,” LaVine said. “Passing it around, taking on the double team. I think we just played harder [Monday].”
And while nine points from DeRozan won’t get it done on most nights, it’s the type of basketball that Donovan feels is sustainable.
“The way I look at is [DeRozan] gets 30 a night, Zach gets 30 a night, Vooch [Nikola Vucevic] gets 25 a night, and then we’ve got a bunch of guys getting four?” Donovan said. “Like are there enough points on the board to really be a good, quality team? So it’s never been about, ‘Hey DeMar, you need to take less [shots].’ My goal would be can we have five-to-seven guys at the end of 82 games that are in double-figure scoring?
“If you look at the Milwaukee [playoff series last year], as great as Giannis [Antetokounmpo] was and [Khris] Middleton was out, look at what Grayson Allen did to us from behind the three-point line. You have to have it where everyone is to a certain degree a threat.”
What had Donovan’s mind at ease following Monday’s game was the practice time headed his way. The Bulls (6-6) played their Eastern Conference-leading 12th game, and that included a league-high four back-to-backs since the regular-season tipped off.
They have just three games over the next 10 days, and won’t see another back-to-back until Dec. 10-11.
Considering they’ve had to use morning shootarounds like practices, and have only had LaVine (left knee management) in the mix for a few of those, there was still a lot Donovan wanted to build out on both ends of the floor.
That time is coming.
“It’s important that we utilize and maximize those days,” Donovan said. “It might not always be full contact, but I do think getting on the court is important. We’ve gotten a lot out of shootarounds, but I think we’ve got to go back to defensive stuff, we’ve got to keep trying to build out offensively. As much as you show it on film it’s great, but I also think there’s merit to getting between the lines and doing it as well.”
Having as healthy a roster as they’ve had since camp will help.
LaVine has been able to get more work in, while Coby White (thigh contusion) and Andre Drummond (sprained left shoulder) were on the mend, but progressing.
“The base [packages] for the most part are in,” Donovan said. “You’re always adding things and maybe subtracting things. There’s things you think that could be pretty good, end up not being as good and you scrap them. How we’d like to play as far as how we’d like to get out in transition, more ball movement … I think what we need more than anything else, especially with some of our young guys is a lot of attacking close-outs, reading the defense, where to attack it, how to space it, relocate it. We need to work on more of those concepts.”