Rivalry Restored? Caruso News, DeRozan Continues to Look Like an MVP, and Other Bulls Bullets

Heads up, these bullets were written prior to the Caruso news, which you can find below: 

 

•   I don’t want to generate too many negative vibes on this Saturday (the Bucks have done enough of that), so I’ll keep this conversation brief: Grayson Allen should be fined or suspended for his actions in last night’s game. While it may have initially appeared as if he went for the ball, it’s become abundantly clear that he made unnecessary and aggressive contact that could have (and did) seriously injured Alex Caruso. He can be seen grabbing Caruso’s arm and pulling it down with one hand while pushing him back with the other arm. The fact Caruso was able to stay in the game might leave some believing it wasn’t a big deal. But it was. That’s unhinged behavior from someone who has a history of taking cheap shots.

•   Speaking of unhinged behavior, the Bucks social media team made quite the choice this morning (before walking it back in the wake of Caruso’s injury), and the Chicago Bulls responded accordingly (it has since been deleted).

•   I’m excited these two teams are finally good at the same time and appear to have a real rivalry brewing with three matchups left this season. But celebrating the guy who almost knocked an opponent out of the game is not something you do in the spirit of rivalry, it’s just a dumb and bad choice.

•   If the Bucks need an example of a more light-hearted way to promote a new rivalry, they should just go as Bobby Portis.

•   We all watched shots roll around the rim last night, but how bad the offense was doesn’t really hit until you peek at the box score. Whereas the Bulls shot a dismal 36.5 percent from the floor, the Bucks were only slightly better at a 38.6 percent clip. From behind the arc, it was even more gnarly, with the Bulls going 7-38 and the Bucks going 6-31. Both teams have their moments on the defensive end, and there is no question this felt like a physical, playoff-caliber matchup, but this was still an uncharacteristically bad offensive showing for both squads. I have no doubt we’ll see some bounce-back bucket-getting in the three upcoming meetings.

•   With that said, considering the Bulls were missing Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Patrick Williams, Javonte Green, and Derrick Jones Jr. against a Bucks team that was missing only center Brook Lopez, I think the Bulls deserve a ton of credit for the way they played. Sure, the game was all kinds of messy, but I think that is kind of how the Bulls wanted it to be. To keep things that close against the reigning champs – who pummeled them in the paint 42-20 – should be an encouraging sign for what a fully-healthy Bulls team can do come playoff time.

•   Also, those who stopped saying DeMar DeRozan and MVP candidate in the same sentence must start again. The Bulls veteran went toe-to-toe with arguably the best player in the world last night, scoring 35 points (his 11th 30-point game of the season) behind a ridiculous 17-18 performance from the free-throw line. He became the first Bull since Jimmy Butler in 2017 to knock down 17 free throws in a game, frustrating Bucks defenders all night long.

“I just get to my spot and don’t let anyone alter my shot,” DeRozan told Bulls dot com. “It’s on you if you get in my way. Just a feel more than anything. Understanding how guys want to contest. I just stay firm in a lot of moves I want to take. And me knowing the guys want to contest a lot of my shots, so it’s on them. I just follow though and continue to do what I’ve got to do and I guess I get the foul (call).”

•   I give Tyler Cook a round of applause. There is no question the two-way frontcourt player was incredibly outmatched while trying to guard Giannis, but he at least provided the kind of physical presence this team needed upfront. Throw in more bodies like Green, Jones, and even Ball, and the Bulls at least have options to throw at the Greek Freak. He’ll surely still dominate, but at least those are a handful of guys who don’t back down.

•   Twelve years ago today, Goran Dragic didn’t get the memo.

•   Keep hoping.

•   Bears cutting down the list:

written by

Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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