Apr 25, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (34) dribbles the ball as Washington Wizards forward Trevor Ariza (1) defends in the third quarter in game three of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. The Bulls won 100-97. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Playoffs: Tom Thibodeau Leaned On Mike Dunleavy In Game 3

When the Chicago Bulls first round series started against the Washington Wizards, Bulls’ forward Mike Dunleavy went the first two games of the series without seeing much playing time in crucial minutes and many questioned whether or not that impacted the team’s offense.

Dunleavy may have provided that answer on Friday in the Bulls game 3 victory over the Wizards.

Dunleavy led the charge for the Bulls offensively on Friday. Dunleavy was 12-of-19 shooting on Friday while scoring a playoff career-high of 35 points while playing 40 minutes.

The question now becomes how Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau will use Dunleavy in the remaining games in the series. Dunleavy played 27 minutes in game 1 and game 2 but hardly saw the court in the closing minutes of each game. There was this belief going around that Dunleavy was in Thibodeau’s dog house, though after his performance on Friday, the former No.3 overall pick may be the player that the Bulls’ head coach turns to get the team back on even ground with the Wizards.

With Joakim Noah and D.J. Augustin faltering offensively for the Bulls in this series, the onus may be on Dunleavy to lead the charge for the Bulls. Dunleavy certainly answered the bell for the Bulls on Friday and will need to continue to do so if the Bulls are to have any hope of making it out of the first round.

Tags: Chicago Bulls Mike Dunleavy Nba Playoffs

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