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HomeSportsTerry Taylor, a reserve with the Bulls, is harsh on the opponents.

Terry Taylor, a reserve with the Bulls, is harsh on the opponents.

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Coach Billy Donovan needed a backup to add some energy off the bench because Nikola Vucevic (groin) was out and Andre Drummond took over as the starting center. Perhaps he had discovered one in the little Taylor.

For the last week, Chicago has been experiencing hunting season.

The object of desire? A 6-4 second-year athlete with the build of a stout guard who decides to work as an NBA center on the side.

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And Terry Taylor of the Bulls invites everyone to join.

Taylor responded, “I’ve actually played it my whole life, so I’m kind of used to it,” in response to a question concerning his diminutive size at center. I’m accustomed to people’s skepticism about me playing center due to my stature. However, I have the motivation and the heart to take on anyone in a competition.

The Bulls’ previous three opponents have discovered that’s not an easy task to do.

Taylor has been coming off the bench for crucial minutes in the middle, with Andre Drummond putting in a lot of work as the starter and Nikola Vucevic (groin) probably out for at least another week. He has also provided coach Billy Donovan with the small-ball perspective that the Bulls have been lacking this season.

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Taylor was a plus-4 in eight minutes and scored four points in the Bulls’ victory over the Hawks on Tuesday. Two days later, he played 14 minutes and was a plus-1 in their defeat to the Pacers. Then, in 17 minutes during their Saturday victory over the 76ers, he finished with six points, six rebounds, and a plus-1 rating.

The process underlying this insanity?

First off, Taylor may be undersized for his height, but his reported weight of 230 pounds is more in line with his high school weight. Good luck putting any muscle on him.

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Second, teams trying to switch him on to a guard in pick-and-roll are discovering that it’s not nearly the mismatch they were expecting for since he has the feet of a guard.

Lastly, he manipulates opponents’ perceptions simply by delaying testing the mismatch.

For the past three games, Taylor has observed that.

Everyone is slowed down because they are all trying to locate the mismatch and put each other up. Also, the lineup moves a little quicker and other things.

Since taking over as the Bulls’ coach, Donovan has attempted to assemble deadly small-ball lines. In that style, he has employed Derrick Jones Jr., Patrick Williams, and most recently, Javonte Green. However, Taylor? Not many would have predicted that.

A few weeks ago, if an uninformed Bulls fan had been informed that Taylor would be playing double-digit minutes off the bench, they would have assumed that something seriously wrong with the season had occurred.

Actually, lately, everything has been going really well. The Bulls have won 10 of their previous 15 games, their defense is beginning to develop into the best in the league as it was the previous year, and Donovan has added a change-of-pace lineup to give opposition coaches something to be concerned about.

“I think it’s not always necessary to match what the opposition is doing,” Donovan remarked. It’s wise to publish the lineup sometimes. The game’s tides may shift swiftly when you do that and the opposing side is huge and you’re tiny, or you’re big and they’re small. However, there are instances in which it is advantageous to take the risk and see what transpires. And I have nothing against that.

Taylor isn’t either.

“I am useful everywhere,” stated Taylor. I feel like I’m just ready to lend any assistance I can to the team. I’d be willing to assist with it at [power forward, center, small forward], or wherever else.

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