Doug McDermott breaking down stereotypes one dunk at a time

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The Wizards found out last season.

They received the one-handed thunder, special delivery. So did Philadelphia for that matter.

Toronto and Sacramento?

They each got the two-handed excuse-me-while-I-kiss-the-rim pull-up.

Doug McDermott seemed to save that dunk for special occasions.

Wait, McDermott can dunk?

“I’m almost like, ‘This is my game,’ a little bit,’’ the Bulls forward said laughing, still finding it funny that many are taken back by his athleticism. “That kind of still goes through my head. That’s kind of the stereotype you get being a guy … ‘’

A guy?

Then McDermott laughed again, knowing that he couldn’t hide from the obvious.

“A white guy,’’ he said.

And there it was. Entering his third year in the league and McDermott is still fighting the idea of the player that people feel he is versus the player he feels he can be.

Heck, even Dwyane Wade had McDermott’s game put in a box. Last week, Wade said he felt McDermott was one of the surprises of camp.

What surprised the 14-year-veteran? His athleticism.

“I’ve matched up with Dwyane a lot in our practices when we go bench against starters,’’ McDermott said. “So he’s constantly chasing me off screens, and I think he was kind of shocked by how quickly I got the ball off.

“I can do more than just shoot. I can put the ball on the floor and get to the rim, finish at the rim. So I think that’s what he was kind of surprised.

“I know I’m not surprised. I mean that’s stuff I’ve been working on my whole life and I’ve always had. I didn’t get to show it much my rookie year, but last year was a good year for me to show it. I was able to show that I’m more than just a shooter.’’

He better do more than just show glimpses of it.

This is Year 3 of the McDermott experience. Since being picked 11th overall in the 2014 draft, the 6-foot-8 former Creighton standout spent his rookie year injured and then on the bench, and his second year showing flashes along with some growing pains.

But with a Bulls roster now stripped of any consistent three-point shooters, that 41 percent from three-point range that McDermott has acquired so far is about to come in handy.

“You’re starting over with a bunch of new guys pretty much,’’ McDermott said. “The last two years could have gone better for me, but with this group and what they need with shooting, I just think it’s a big year for me. Now I need to go out there and show it.’’

He did in Thursday’s preseason game with Indiana, hitting a trio of three-pointers in the first quarter.

No doubt he can score.

But can he defend? A skillset that McDermott admittedly has been held back by at the NBA level.

“It’s something that you obviously have to do at this level because they’re going to expose the weak link out there on the floor,’’ coach Fred Hoiberg said of McDermott’s defense. “He’s worked a lot on it. His technique is much better.’’

That’s one part of it, but McDermott said the key has been understanding film study more.

“You can tell a lot about an opposing player, what they like to do,’’ McDermott said. “A lot of guys do the same moves to be honest. If I can close out to a guy and know what he usually likes to do I feel like I have a lot in my favor.’’

McDermott a lock-down defender?

Now that really would be a surprise.

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