On Jan. 21, in the loss to the Bucks, Grayson Allen committed a flagrant 2 foul on Chicago Bulls’ point guard Alex Caruso. Caruso stayed on the floor for a few minutes and looked very shaken up. He continued playing, but this afternoon, it was revealed that Caruso will require surgery on his wrist as a result of the play.
Allen has been known to be a dirty player since his time at Duke. After the play, Allen didn’t check on Caruso to see if he was ok. After the game, many Bulls players took issue with that. Head Coach Billy Donovan mentioned that Allen has a history of making dirty players and even said that the NBA should consider taking a closer look at the play for further consequences of Allen’s actions.
It is clear that last night’s game and Allen’s dirty play have ignited a potential rivalry between the division foes. The Bulls play the Bucks three more times this season and I am personally very excited for the Bucks to come to the United Center. I am picturing the moment when Allen’s name is called in the starting lineup and all of the boos he receives.
How will the Chicago Bulls look without Alex Caruso?
Caruso will be reevaluated in 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately, that means it’s likely Caruso could miss the rest of the season. Caruso is one of the most valuable players on the Bulls. His intensity and energy are apparent every night. When Caruso was healthy, the Bulls were a top 10 defense. Without Caruso, the Bulls were a below-average defense.
With Caruso out, the Bulls now have six rotational players out.
However, they have players who have stepped up. Tyler Cook played a solid game against the Bucks assigned with the tough task of guarding Giannis. Troy Brown Jr. has shown sparks of defensive promise. Matt Thomas has found his stroke in January, shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc. Coby White will need to continue putting up 15-20 points every night, despite his shooting struggles against Milwaukee. Rookie Ayo Dosunmu, has been playing like a veteran for the Bulls, averaging 9.5 points, 3.5 assists, and 3.5 rebounds on 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from three.
With Zach LaVine and Javonte Green set to come back in the next week or two and the Bulls’ next eight games all against teams below .500, it’s a great time to assess who can step up for the Bulls and provide quality minutes to this short-handed team.
All you can hope is that night in and night out, the five players on the floor provide a high level of intensity.