JUST IN: Ayo Dosunmu Demonstrates Significant Improvement in Scoring Abilities This Season

Ayo Dosunmu began the season on the outside looking in. While the third-year guard had just signed a fresh three-year deal, the organization had also brought in veteran guard Jevon Carter to help bolster their backcourt. Considering the team’s 3-point shooting woes over the past handful of seasons, the door felt wide open for Carter to steal minutes from Dosunmu. Instead, Dosunmu has reminded everyone why he is the steal of the 2021 NBA Draft.

Ayo Dosunmu (55 Games)

2023-24 MIN PTS AST REB FG% 3P%
Ayo Dosunmu 26.0 10.3 2.5 2.6 50.3* 41.7* (3.4 3PAs)

Dosunmu averaged just 15.0 minutes per game over the first month of the season. Again, the addition of Carter meant a jam-packed guard rotation, and Dosunmu felt he could end up as the odd man out. As Zach LaVine went down with his foot injury and minutes opened up, however, Dosunmu immediately ran with the opportunity.

He was a meaningful part of the team’s 9-5 December, putting together six double-digit outings. Dosunmu’s transition play proved to be a real asset as the Bulls attempted to install a more uptempo style of play. Likewise, he continued to impact the game defensively with his length and lateral quickness. By the time December wound down, Dosunmu had re-established himself as a valuable member of the rotation. And his confidence would only grow from here.

Ayo Dosunmu’s Last 17 Games

2023-24 MIN PTS AST REB FG% 3P%
Ayo Dosunmu 33.3 15.8 3.8 2.9 56.5 (10.9 FGA) 51.3 (4.6 3PAs)

After a relatively slow start to January, Ayo Dosunmu’s ascent continued on Jan. 13. He would score 21 points on 8-9 shooting from the field against the San Antonio Spurs. This ignited a career-best stretch of 10 consecutive games with 10+ points. Fast forward to today, and he has scored in double figures in 16 of the Chicago Bulls’ last 17 games.

Overall, Dosunmu has been the most aggressive we’ve ever seen him on the offensive side of the ball. He’s chucked up double-digit shot attempts in 12 of these 17 games, and he’s also averaged 4.6 attempts from downtown per contest. Of course, the team’s injury trouble plays a role in Dosunmu’s freedom to score, but we’ve also seen a lot of progress made as a halfcourt initiator.

Indeed, Dosunmu’s driving ability has taken a step in the right direction. He’s moving with decisiveness and putting consistent pressure on the rim. Not only does his first step look that much faster, but his length allows him to finish over defenders efficiently. Dosunmu’s recent performance against the Atlanta Hawks serves as a perfect example of his newfound confidence in attacking off the dribble.

Ayo Dosunmu’s 3-Point Shot

We can’t talk about Dosunmu’s recent play without mentioning his 3-point jumper. After a strong rookie season shooting 37.6 percent from downtown, Dosunmu struggled to find the same success on similarly low volume. The guard ended the year shooting just 31.2 percent from behind the arc, which seemed to validate some of the concerns surrounding his 3-point stroke coming into the league.

Only the future will tell us if this season is an outlier, but I tend to believe Dosunmu has seen real growth as a catch-and-shoot threat. He is shooting a career-high 41.7 percent from downtown this season on 3.4 attempts per game (also a career-high). The volume has only increased as the season has gone on, too.

Dosunmu is averaging 4.6 attempts over this 17-game sample size, and he is now 19-34 from long range over the last five games. Not only are these 34 attempts the most over a five-game span in his career, but so are the 19 makes, per Stathead. While Dosunmu has never necessarily been hesitant to toss up a 3-ball, there is no denying his confidence to do so is at an all-time high. The shooting motion looks a tiny bit faster and a lot more fluid. He’s also doing a great job setting his feet to help him instantly get into his shooting motion. Is this another example of new player development coach Peter Patton?

For what it’s worth, Dosunmu now has 41 percent of his shot attempts coming from downtown, which is a career-high. His 77 total 3-point makes also happen to be the most of his NBA career thus far, which is pretty surprising considering he appeared in 80 games last season.

Ayo Dosunmu’s Efficiency

Dosunmu is one of the most efficient scorers in the NBA. Period. Cleaning the Glass puts the combo guard’s 59.0 effective field goal percentage in the 95th percentile of NBA players.

All things considered, I think it’s pretty easy to see why this happens to be the case when reviewing the above material. Dosunmu does an outstanding job prioritizing high-percentage looks. Despite having a mean mid-range game in college, we’ve rarely seen Dosunmu tap into that at the next level. His priority is very clearly to penetrate the defense as often as possible, which is why 38 percent of his looks come at the rim (90th percentile).

It’s also a lot easier to score this efficiently when you get out on the break as much as Dosunmu does. Whether it be a scoop and score or merely pushing the pace off a live rebound, he is almost nearly impossible to stop when he has a full head of steam. To put into perspective just how lethal Dosunmu’s transition game can be, here are the NBA’s top 5 scorers over the last 15 games, per NBA Stats …

 

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo (97)
  • Anthony Edwards (71)
  • Ayo Dosunmu (69)!!!!
  • De’Aaron Fox (68)
  • Collin Sexton (65)

 

I’m not sure any stat highlights better just how well Dosunmu has performed over the last month and a half. The Bulls might have another building block on their hands.

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