Dunn on lead vo­cals for Fred’s band

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY TOM MUSICK For the Sun-Times

If given the choice, point guard Kris Dunn would rather run the court than run his mouth.

“I’m more of an ac­tion leader,” Dunn said. “I just come out and hoop. I let my play do the talk­ing.”

But Dunn, 24, knows he needs to take on a more prom­i­nent role en­ter­ing his sec­ond sea­son in Chicago. Dunn’s top in­di­vid­ual goal is to emerge as a vo­cal leader.

“Last year, I didn’t want to do too much be­cause it was my first time be­ing a Bull, and I didn’t want to step on any toes,” said Dunn, who spent his first NBA sea­son with the Tim­ber­wolves.

“But com­ing into Year 2 as a Bull, I’ve got to un­der­stand that I’m the point guard, I’m the quar­ter­back, and I’ve got to com­mu­ni­cate to my guys.”

Coach Fred Hoiberg has no­ticed Dunn’s ded­i­ca­tion dur­ing the pre­sea­son. Dunn av­er­aged 13.4 points and 6.0 as­sists in 52 games (43 starts) last sea­son af­ter av­er­ag­ing only 3.8 points and 2.4 as­sists as a rookie in Min­nesota.

“Kris has been out­stand­ing,” Hoiberg said. “I give him a lot of credit. He came in here last year af­ter a very tough rookie sea­son and re­ally emerged as our closer when we were play­ing our best stretch of bas­ket­ball.

“The con­fi­dence that he was play­ing with was off the charts. He has car­ried that over into train­ing camp. He seems a lot more com­fort­able in the role that he’s in with the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that come at the point-guard spot.”

One as­pect of Dunn’s game that’s un­likely to change is his pref­er­ence to pass to open team­mates rather than dom­i­nate pos­ses­sions. He’s not caught up in try­ing to outscore the player across from him.

“No, not at all,” Dunn said. “Just imag­ine play­ing against Steph Curry. I’m not go­ing to try to outscore him, but I’m go­ing to try to make it dif­fi­cult for him, you know what I mean? At the same time, I’m go­ing to be ag­gres­sive. I’m not just go­ing to let him come down and score on me all day. I’ve got to put some pres­sure back on him.”

On the mend

Den­zel Valen­tine missed his fifth and fi­nal pre­sea­son game be­cause of a sprained left an­kle.

The third-year for­ward had no trou­ble dur­ing the shootaround Fri­day as he cut to­ward the lane and rose for jump shots. But he has yet to take part in live drills and has not gone up against a de­fender.

Valen­tine’s sta­tus is un­cer­tain for the reg­u­lar-sea­son opener Thurs­day on the road against the 76ers.

“He’s start­ing to ramp up his ac­tiv­ity, but it’s all in one-on-none sit­u­a­tions,” Hoiberg said. “We’ll see how he re­acts to this. We’re just con­tin­u­ing to take it day by day with him.”

De­ci­sion time

Noth­ing is promised, but guard Ryan Ar­cidi­a­cono has made a strong case to make the ros­ter as the Bulls pre­pare for fi­nal cuts.

“Ryan gave us some re­ally good min­utes last year,” Hoiberg said. “The one thing you know with Ryan is he’s go­ing to give you great ef­fort ev­ery minute on the floor. He’s done the same thing in our train­ing camp.

“We love his ap­proach. Ev­ery day, he comes to work. He pushes our guys.”

The Vil­lanova prod­uct ap­peared in 24 games off the bench last sea­son.

TONY GU­TIER­REZ/AP

“COM­ING INTO YEAR 2 AS A BULL, I’VE GOT TO UN­DER­STAND THAT I’M THE POINT GUARD, I’M THE QUAR­TER­BACK, AND I’VE GOT TO COM­MU­NI­CATE TO MY GUYS.”KRIS DUNN, on be­ing a leader

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.