An Epic Celebration, Trying to Right the Ship, Caruso in Concussion Protocol, and Other Bulls Bullets

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An Epic Celebration, Trying to Right the Ship, Caruso in Concussion Protocol, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

You have to start somewhere, and a two-game win streak is somewhere.

Victories over the Heat and Hawks – even if Miami happened to be absent Jimmy Butler – are commendable. They are especially so when they follow a toxic season-worst performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Am I ready to say that the Bulls are on a path toward a convincing, Boston Celtics-like mid-season turnaround? Absolutely not, but they are one win away from moving into the Play-In Tournament picture and have played some genuinely inspired two-way basketball over the past couple of days. It’s a branch to grab onto for a team that has been stuck in quicksand. We’ll see if that branch can hold.

  • Even if things continue to go south, I’ll remember last night fondly. Not only was that an incredibly cool moment for Ayo Dosunmu, but it was easily the most enjoyable team moment of the season. The instant that shot went through the rim, we experienced an epic celebration. Every single player on that roster swarmed Dosunmu, while Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan made a point to give him some extra love. The energy was infectious, and there is no question it put some of those locker room concerns to bed.

“I think it was great. It’s a natural reaction,” LaVine said of the celebration. “We care about each other. I was just scared that we were celebrating and hopefully he got it off in time,” LaVine laughed.

  • Again, I don’t know if this team can actually turn a corner, but their ability to do so doesn’t mean their intentions aren’t pure. I’ve long said that the problems that loom over the Bulls are far more about the roster construction than the coaching or care. This group is trying to figure things out – even if it looks incredibly ugly at times – and I do have to respect them for that.

  • Just look at all those smiling faces!

  • Revenge tastes better in Atlanta. Arguably the best part of Dosunmu’s buzzer-beater is the fact that it came just 10 days after AJ Griffin ripped the Bulls’ hearts out with his own last-second make. I also love that John Collins – who failed to secure the rebound that led to Dosunmu’s quick layup – ended up under the Bulls’ dogpile.

  • I got to give Zach LaVine credit. While I’m still not exactly sure how to feel about all the recent rumors (which I touched on in yesterday’s bullets), there is no question he’s played much more disciplined basketball since reportedly being called out by his teammates on Sunday. After dropping 21 points with 7 assists and just 2 turnovers against Miami, he had another well-rounded effort with 22 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds. He continued to look far more locked in on the defensive end, and he also finally knocked down some much-needed clutch shots. His back-to-back mid-range jumpers with less than 1:15 to go kept the Bulls in a position to steal that win.
  • One big reason I’m not yet sold on the Bulls’ ability to keep stacking wins: Alex Caruso is apparently in concussion protocol. After first leaving the game for what the team announced as a shoulder sprain, head coach Billy Donovan said that Caruso was also being evaluated for a concussion. There is no clear idea yet about how long he might be out, but any missed time is a concern for a team that has proven to be extremely fragile, particularly on the defensive end. Let’s hope for some good news before tomorrow night’s game against New York.

  • I lowkey miss Robin Lopez. I’d love to just have him and Dalen Terry mic’d up together on the bench.

  • Props to Roquan.

  • Please be a good team.

Author: Elias Schuster

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