Julian Phillips hardly ever sees the ground for the Chicago Bulls. But when he does, the 20-year-old rookie makes an impression.
It took solely minutes for Phillips to face out in Sunday’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers, bounding by the air for a two-handed volleyball-style block. And Phillips made one other splashy impression on the United Center crowd within the opening minutes of Tuesday’s 118-107 loss to the Toronto Raptors, sinking a 3-pointer and drawing a foul to attain his first factors within the opening quarter.
First impressions are vital. But if the Bulls are going to outlive the roughly two weeks left earlier than the All-Star break, Phillips might want to fill a hefty function.
The Bulls are at the moment taking part in with no energy ahead as each Patrick Williams and Torrey Craig are sidelined with accidents for no less than two extra weeks. Coach Billy Donovan plans to fill the function with a mix of Phillips and guard Alex Caruso.
It’s tough for a group to rely on the consistency of a 20-year-old rookie. But Phillips has proven by his first two video games stepping up in Williams’ stead that he can reliably present one key issue: vitality.
“Young guys, they’re going to have their ups and downs,” Donovan mentioned. “Sometimes for younger players, these situations create opportunities and I give him credit for keeping himself ready and giving us a really good boost off the bench. So I got a lot of confidence in him in terms of the way he has worked to prepare himself to go in there. I think his athleticism and his energy, if we get that into the game on a regular basis, that will be just as equally as important as making shots.”
Phillips tallied 9 factors and a rebound off the bench in Tuesday’s loss. Here are three different takeaways.
1. Dalen Terry’s damage heightens concern for the Bulls.
The Bulls suffered yet one more damage blow within the remaining 30 seconds of the third quarter when Dalen Terry appeard to injure his proper ankle.
Terry tore down the courtroom to try a layup in transition however crashed into two Toronto gamers earlier than tumbling awkwardly on high of a number of photographers on the sideline. Visibly in ache/,/ Terry tried to face up twice earlier than collapsing to the bottom to carry his ankle. He was carried to the locker room by coaching employees and didn’t put any extra weight on his foot.
Donovan mentioned after the sport X-rays got here again damaging for Terry and his damage has been recognized as a sprain. He was utilizing crutches within the locker room.
The loss is critical for the Bulls, who’re already taking part in with out Zach LaVine, Williams and Craig. Terry was alleged to be one of many gamers to assist take up minutes at energy ahead. Without him, the Bulls should rely solely on Caruso and Phillips to cowl the place.
2. A primary half 16-point lead was squandered within the third quarter.
The Bulls had been in a dominant place within the first half, tallying a 16-point lead by halftime. But they continued to repeat a sample of popping out sluggish to begin the second half, permitting the Raptors to outscore them 37-26 within the third quarter.
The Raptors tied the sport with 2:46 left within the third quarter.
“We can’t ease our way back into the second half of a game,” DeRozan mentioned. “We’ve got to lead. We’ve got to come out and build on it. I think we tried to ease our way back into the game again instead of just trying to put the foot on the gas and play with more of a sense of urgency. It’s a critical time, a critical point of the season where we need every single game.”
3. Turnovers outlined one other loss.
The Bulls have been persistently robust at ball safety all through this season, however high-turnover nights have fueled their losses the final three weeks.
On Tuesday, the Bulls coughed up 30 factors off 17 turnovers — 21 of which had been scored within the second half. DeMar DeRozan turned the ball over 5 instances because the Raptors threw traps to pressure the ball out of his palms.
This was barely offset by the Raptors giving up 14 factors on 19 turnovers, however the Bulls had been unable to make up the distinction.