Tomas Satoransky has had an eerily quiet start to the 2019-20 season. While he is playing a healthy 26.2 minutes per game in a starting role under coach Jim Boylen after being acquired in a sign-and-trade, the Czech point man has been rather gun-shy about getting up some shots since landing with the Chicago Bulls.
Bulls fans clamored that his addition would give the Bulls a more well-rounded point guard who could score, rebound, make plays, and even play some defense to boot. However, the first and most important part has fallen flat through 13 games into the season.
Boylen expressed his concern after Monday’s shootaround, claiming his point guard needs to have the hunger to put the ball in the hoop:
“Tomas is a heckuva shooter. He needs to be a little more thirsty,” said Boylen, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “He’s such a good kid. He’s a team-first guy. That’s great. We love that. But sometimes you have to get them up.”
Sato is shooting a whopping 45.5% on 3-pointers, a mark that would certainly come down with more volume, but a helpful one nonetheless considering the Bulls are 25th in the league in that department at 32.5%.
The 6-foot-7 point guard has simply not been as aggressive as the Bulls need him to be. While it’s a short sample size, Sato has attempted eight or fewer shots in 11 of the team’s first 13 games, with his only two double-digit attempt games coming one after the other.
The 28-year-old is known to be smart with his shot selection, but he has also passed up open looks to get his teammates involved. The Bulls are struggling mightily from the perimeter, with Lauri Markkanen scuffling to a 28.2% from deep on six attempts per game. The team’s star player, Zach LaVine, is shooting merely a respectable 36.3% on seven attempts per game.
Satoransky and backup Ryan Arcidiacono are the only two healthy Bulls shooting the 3 at a 40% or better clip, as Otto Porter Jr. (40% from deep) is out with a foot injury.
The urge should eventually come for Satoransky, but he first has to find his comfort zone, as he is unlikely to flip on the switch and recklessly fire at will. His shots will be smart looks, but he has to come into the game looking to generate offense instead of facilitating it — in short, a score-first, pass-second mentality.