Chicago Bulls Starved for Stability at Small Forward in Mike Dunleavy’s Absence

November 19th, 2015 by Sean Highkin Leave a reply »

CHICAGO — Over the last week, a welcome sight has become a regular occurrence at Chicago Bulls practice: Mike Dunleavy moving around and getting up shots.

Dunleavy is still a ways away from playing as he recovers from the back surgery that has sidelined him since before training camp. But he’s making progress, and with Chicago's inconsistency at the small forward position, his imminent return will provide some much-needed stability on the wing.

The Bulls’ depth, as the roster is currently constructed, is limited entirely to the frontcourt. Between Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson, Chicago has so many capable bigs that promising rookie Bobby Portis has barely been able to get on the floor. But it ends there.

Small forward has been a particular area of struggle with Dunleavy out. Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg has rotated Doug McDermott and Tony Snell in and out of the starting lineup, trying to find a combination that works, but neither of the Bulls’ young wings has been able to approximate the combination of solid team defense and reliable outside shooting that Dunleavy brings.
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