Bulls’ win over Raptors is model that has staying power

Guard Zach LaVine led the way with 30 points, but the Bulls had six players in double figures, and DeMar DeRozan wasn’t one of them.

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The Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan passes around the Raptors’ Gary Trent Jr.  during Monday’s game at the United Center.

The Bulls’ DeMar DeRozan passes around the Raptors’ Gary Trent Jr. during Monday’s game at the United Center.

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Bulls coach Billy Donovan has no problem with a 40-point game from DeMar DeRozan. He welcomes it.

But he also knows that if his team is to meet expectations and reach at least the second round of the playoffs next spring, 40-point nights can’t be the norm. There has to be a spreading of the wealth, as there was Monday.

One night after losing to the Raptors in Toronto, the Bulls came back and beat them 111-97 in the rematch at the United Center.

Six Bulls finished in double figures in scoring, led by Zach LaVine with 30 points, while two scored nine points each — one of them being DeRozan, who was coming off 20 points on Sunday and a season-high 46 on Friday.

“You’ve got to give credit to DeMar,” LaVine said. “Passing it around, taking on the double team. I think we just played harder [Monday].”

Nine points from DeRozan won’t get it done most nights, but Donovan finds this type of basketball more sustainable.

“The way I look at is, [DeRozan] gets 30 a night, Zach gets 30 a night, [Nikola Vucevic] gets 25 a night, and then we’ve got a bunch of guys getting four?” Donovan said. “Like, are there enough points on the board to really be a good, quality team? So it’s never been about, ‘Hey, DeMar, you need to take less [shots].’ My goal would be, can we have five to seven guys at the end of 82 games that are in double-figure scoring?

“If you look at the Milwaukee [playoff series last year], as great as Giannis [Antetokounmpo] was, and [Khris] Middleton was out, look at what Grayson Allen did to us from behind the three-point line. You have to have it where everyone is to a certain degree a threat.”

Donovan’s mind was at ease after the game, knowing the practice time that’s coming. The Bulls (6-6) played their Eastern Conference-leading 12th game, which included a league-high four back-to-backs since the regular-season began. They have just three games over the next 10 days and won’t see another back-to-back until Dec. 10-11.

Considering they’ve had to use morning shootarounds as practices and have only had LaVine, who’s managing discomfort in his left knee, in the mix for a few of those, there’s still a lot to build out on both ends of the floor.

That time is coming.

“It’s important that we utilize and maximize those days,” Donovan said. “It might not always be full contact, but I do think getting on the court is important. We’ve gotten a lot out of shootarounds, but I think we’ve got to go back to defensive stuff — we’ve got to keep trying to build out offensively. As much as you show it on film, it’s great, but I also think there’s merit to getting between the lines and doing it as well.”

Having the roster as healthy as it has been since camp will help. LaVine has been able to get more work in. Guard Coby White (deep thigh bruise) and backup center Andre Drummond (sprained left shoulder) are on the mend but progressing.

“The base [packages] for the most part are in,” Donovan said. “You’re always adding things and maybe subtracting things. There’s things you think could be pretty good that end up not being as good and you scrap them. How we’d like to play as far as how we’d like to get out in transition, more ball movement . . . I think what we need more than anything else, especially with some of our young guys, is a lot of attacking closeouts, reading the defense, where to attack it, how to space it, relocate it. We need to work on more of those concepts.’’

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