Las Vegas Summer League Game 2: Chicago Bulls 93-Denver Nuggets 81

After notching a dominating win over the Memphis Grizzlies just a few nights ago, the Chicago Bulls continued to dominate their opponents in this year’s Las Vegas Summer League with a commanding 93-81 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Just like in the last game, the starters- Malcolm Thomas, Erik Murphy, Tony Snell, Andrew Goudelock, and Marquis Teague- played the vast majority of the minutes.

Aside from a stretch during the second quarter when Teague sat out for an undisclosed injury, the outcome of this game was never in doubt. Coach Adrian Griffin once again opted to play the starters the vast majority of the minutes likely because they are the five most likely to secure a spot on the final roster. All five of the starters rewarded Griffin’s choice by scoring in double digits. The Bulls were led by Andrew Goudelock’s 31 points and Malcolm Thomas’s NBA Summer league record 22 rebounds.

This year’s summer league team has been flat out dominant thus far and, should they continue this level of play, it’s feasible that the Bulls could win the inaugural NBA Summer League tournament. While not necessarily a title of any worth it’d still be nice to see Chicago win something.

Before we wrap up tonight, here is a brief look at the performance of each starter:

  • Malcolm Thomas
    Thomas has been flat out dominant in the summer league games he’s played in over the past few years and he continued that trend with a record 22 rebounds. Offensively he moved around well without the ball and put up a solid shooting night. Defensively he played some lockdown defense and made life difficult in the paint by elevating and using his length to force opponents to alter their shots. If Thomas can keep up any semblance of this kind of play through training camp and the preseason he may see some meaningful minutes next season.
  • Erik Murphy
    After an abysmal Summer League debut, Erik Murphy managed to bounce back by knocking down 7-of-10 from the field including 4-of-5 from long range. Seeing as he was drafted by the Bulls simply to spread the floor, it’s nice to see Murphy settle in and get into a groove.
  • Tony Snell
    Snell showed flashes of being a good shooter in his first summer league game but his shot eluded him yesterday night. Snell struggled to get anything going on offense. This isn’t the kind of performance I’d like to see out of Chicago’s first round draft pick but, to his credit, he did play smart. Rather than chuck up shot after shot, Snell repeatedly drove to the basket and drew fouls (seven on the night). Defensively Snell played smart, had good rotations, and quick hands throughout the night.
  • Andrew Goudelock
    Goudelock was a maestro shooting from the floor last night as he went 10-of-13 (5-of-6 from three point range) to post a super efficient 31 points. What’s more impressive was the way he refused to let the defense stop him. After nailing a few three pointers in a row, Denver clamped down on him and refused to give him space to operate. Goudelock responded by simply taking a step back and shooting from an even longer range. I’m not a fan of the way the ball stops with him as soon as he gets the ball, but Goudelock’s ability to create for himself and shoot the long ball are two things the Bulls can use. It’ll be interesting to see what happens moving forward considering Chicago already has a slight jam with their guards.
  • Marquis Teague
    Teague put up yet another solid performance. His speed allowed him to blow by defenders and he continued to make the right passes at the right time. He even shocked Bulls fans a bit by shooting and making some jump shots including a three pointer. His finishing around the rim continues to be suspect but hopefully that can improve with time.

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