After three games in the Samsung NBA Summer League, McDermott is leading the Bulls to an undefeated record and the top seed heading into the playoffs. He is averaging 20 points per game, grabbing about four rebounds and dishing out four assists. He is shooting 48.5 percent overall, and 52 percent from three.
Yes, I know it’s just three games in the summer league, but after witnessing the Bulls’ offense, ranked dead last in 2013, seeing his success brings hope to fans.
He doesn’t sound like a guy playing well so far, though.
“It’s much more physical in the NBA,” McDermott said. “In college, I’m used to getting deeper position. I got pushed off the block. I definitely have to get stronger and be a little more patient and creative with how I get position. Coming off screens initially is what’s going to help me the most.”
McDermott is very critical of himself. After his debut last Saturday, he said he made some “stupid” moves. He is a coach’s son, so he knows what coaches are looking for.
He knows his shooting is what has gotten him to the NBA, but he needs other skills to stay there. “That’s my biggest strength right now,” McDermott said of his shooting prowess. “I’m trying to add things to my game every day. I think I’m a lot more than a shooter. I feel I’m a complete player. And having a coach like Tom Thibodeau will only help me.”
Thibodeau will certainly have McDermott improve his defense. Under Thibodeau the last four seasons, the Bulls have the best defense in the NBA. It is a chore scoring on this team. But it is a chore for this team to score. McDermott, along with newcomers Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic, hope to change that.
“We wanted to address shooting,” Thibodeau said. “And we feel we have.”
On paper, they certainly have. Now they have to show it on the court.