Sooo It Sounds Like Tristan Thompson is Very Eager to Face Grayson Allen Tonight

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Sooo It Sounds Like Tristan Thompson is Very Eager to Face Grayson Allen Tonight

Chicago Bulls

If it’s a Bulls-Bucks rivalry you want, it’s a Bulls-Bucks rivalry you get.

When the Chicago Bulls welcome the Milwaukee Bucks into the United Center tonight, it will be the first time the two have met since the Grayson Allen foul heard around the world. In case you forgot, on January 21st, the man with a long history of unnecessary and reckless conduct struck again, shoving Alex Caruso to the hardwood on a fastbreak layup. Less than 24 hours later, we learned that Allen had fractured Caruso’s wrist.

The team initially announced the veteran guard would be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks. Caruso hit the front-end of that threshold this week, and while we’re waiting for a designated return date, all recent reports on his progress have been positive.

Still, as close as Caruso may be to suiting up again, nothing can take the chip off this team’s shoulder. Just ask the Bulls new big man, Tristan Thompson.

“Sh*t. Take out one of my dogs like that, and we’re going to have issues,” Thompson told reporters Thursday night. “You got to set the tone. I mean, that’s what Bulls basketball is about: Setting the tone. What he did affected one of our guys, and I don’t think anyone should forget about that. So, I’m pretty sure the United Center will be rocking tomorrow. I think guys have it in the back of their head, and [you] play chippy, let’s play chippy. I like it. I like a little blood and sweat. I enjoy it … I like to wrestle.” 

Thompson may have been playing for the Sacramento Kings when the Allen-Caruso incident occurred, but he wears red now. Sees it, too, apparently. Not to mention, I think Thompson’s reaction speaks to two important factors: (1) How egregious the Allen foul come off to many around the league, and (2) why Thompson was brought to Chicago in the first place.

Sure, the Bulls needed his size and change-of-pace motor in the frontcourt, but they also needed his veteran experience and on-court persona. Thompson has never been coy about playing physical and emotional basketball. Every team craves that kind of presence, and it’s a big reason why Thompson has found himself on a number of playoff-caliber squads.

Thompson responded in the way he should, but we could say the same about head coach Billy Donovan. A level-headed leader, Donovan said the opposite of his backup center after Thursday night’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks:

“We’re not getting back what happened,” Donovan said. “We’ve got to go out and compete and play against one of the best teams in the league. So, for us, I think we got a lot more things we should be focused on as a team. We got to get much more focus on the little things that we need to do, and I would expect our guys to be professional and they’ll handle themselves the right way. That play is over and done with. It’s gone.”

Both are right. The Bulls have far more to worry about than some Grayson Allen revenge, but there is no question they should use what happened as motivation heading into tonight’s game. In the thick of a three-game losing streak and the second-toughest post-All-Star-break schedule, a win over the Bucks (who sit just 1.0 game behind them in the No. 4 seed) would make a much-needed statement.

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.