East Finals, Gabe Vincent in Chicago? Caruso Reacts to All-Defensive Nod, and Other Bulls Bullets

The Eastern Conference Finals ordered that third cocktail … so things are about to get frisky.

After falling into a 3-0, the Boston Celtics are just two wins away from becoming the first team in NBA history to dig themselves out of that hole. They won Game 4 in Miami 116-99 before carrying that momentum back up north for a 110-97 victory. While Miami did manage to shoot 51.3 percent from the field, Boston forced them into 16 turnovers and also outscored them behind the arc a staggering 48-27 (it’s like a Bulls game!).

The series will now head back to South Beach, where the pressure is fully on the Heat to close things out at home before the Celtics get a chance to win a Game 7 in the always-intense TD Garden.

  • Rarely, if ever, am I rooting for the Celtics. I’d also especially love to see Jimmy Butler continue his epic playoff run and head to his second NBA Finals in four seasons. With that said, I’m all here for as much chaos as possible. Seeing the Celtics force a Game 7 would be good enough theater to make up for an otherwise boring conference Finals. Not to mention, the only thing better than watching the Celtics lose one step before the Finals is watching them lose in the Finals! And, if they pull off this historic comeback, it’s really hard to imagine they’ll have enough left in the tank to handle this well-rested Denver Nuggets team.
  • Ok, I’m gonna have to have my memory refreshed on that Wizards-Bulls playoff game.
  • I went to go check and the Bulls got creamed 117-99. It was the Wizards’ first win of the series to cut things to 2-1 … before they proceeded to win four straight and beat Chicago in six games. In Game 3, they had Gilbert Arenas drop 32, Antwan Jameson drop 21, Larry Hughes drop 21, and Etan Thomas score 20 off the bench. Arenas also scored those 32 points despite shooting 10-24 from the field (lol). Mid-2000s basketball was UGLY.
  • To be honest, I feel like we could be in for quite the boring NBA Finals. I don’t say that because of the teams involved. In fact, I’ve been truly annoyed by the number of people expressing frustration over the Nuggets making it all the way. You just don’t love basketball if you say they’re not an interesting team to watch or follow. Nikola Jokic is on pace to become one of the best big men ever, Jamal Murray is a playoff superstar, and the Nuggets are in their first Finals in franchise history. There is plenty to talk about! Instead, the main reason I’m worried about it being boring is because I think they’re that freakin’ good. They could just sweep through either of these East teams with ease.
  • I’ve seen a lot of talk about Gabe Vincent during these playoffs, and I get it. He’s stepped up in a big way during this postseason, particularly in the absence of Tyler Herro. And the fact he’s done this with an unrestricted free agency looming is undoubtedly great news for him. But, with that said, is he the type of target the Bulls should go after?
  • On one hand, why not, right? He has proven to be a high-energy two-way player who isn’t afraid to let it fly from downtown. I’d also say he’s put some questions about his ability to be a primary playmaker for his teammates to bed during these playoffs. We’ve seen him make several solid passes, and he’s undoubtedly a key reason why the Heat offense has gone from 25th in the regular season to 3rd in the postseason.
  • On the other hand, the Bulls would have to be super-bought into these playoffs being his true breakout performance to believe he can be their answer at point guard. Vincent averaged just 9.4 points and 2.5 assists during his 25.9 minutes played this season. He also shot just 40.2 percent from the field and 33.4 percent from downtown on nearly 5.2 attempts per game. There is seemingly a streaky nature to his game, and the last thing Chicago needs is another player that lacks consistency. Not to mention, as hard as he plays at times, smaller point guards (6’2″) always worry me a bit.
  • I just think somebody is likely going to hand Vincent a sizable paycheck after this run with the Heat. And my fear is that he might struggle to live up to certain expectations on a struggling team like the Bulls. Conversely, if a contending team made him their primary free agency add with their MLE, he might be able to fill that role with ease. Does that make sense?
  • I’ll tell you this, it at least makes more sense than this!
  • Alex Caruso recently hopped on The Old Man & The Three podcast with JJ Redick to talk about the NBA playoffs and his most recent season in Chicago. For his honest thoughts on the Bulls’ series with the Miami Heat, you can check out our post here. What I also wanted to share, however, was his reaction to being named All-Defensive First Team for the first time in his career. Reflecting on his journey from being a two-way player in LA to now, Caruso couldn’t deny how much the award meant to him.
  • “It was really cool,” Caruso said. I think it kind of hit me in waves when it first happened. Toward the end of the year, I almost kind of expected it to happen just because I thought I had a really good year. I didn’t think many guys were as consistent as me and had the type off year defensively that I did. And, plus, I guarded everybody’s’ best player …

    Then, it kind of went into friends and family celebrating. And then I kind of went into, I watched some of my old clips from when I was on two-way in LA. And I was like, this guy went from that to making first-time All-Defense. That’s a hell of an accomplishment.”

  • Praying for a fully healthy Zach LaVine next year. Don’t count out an All-NBA nod if it happens.
  • Good hire.
  • Eh, can you blame him?
  • Whoaaaaa
  • 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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