Bulls’ Patrick Beverley Reacts to Alex Caruso’s All-Defensive Team Selection

Chicago Bulls

Getty Alex Caruso #6 and Patrick Beverley #21 of the Chicago Bulls.

For the first time in his career, Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso has made an All-Defensive team, earning first-team honors, per the NBA’s communications team on May 9. Already a champion, he now adds another piece of hardware to the mantle.

“Ok AC,” tweeted teammate Patrick Beverley in the wake of the announcement, following it up with, “1st Team AC.”

The Bulls honored the 29-year-old with a video montage.

Caruso – who won his ring in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers and made a career-high 67 appearances during the regular season – averaged a modest 5.6 points, 29 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game this past season shooting 45.5% from the floor and 36.45 from beyond the arc. He also averaged 1.5 steals per game and more than one half-block for the 40-42 Bulls.

He held his assignments 2.5% below their season averages in terms of efficiency and was fifth in deflections among players to appear in more than one game, per NBA.com.

Caruso also led the Bulls in net efficiency differential, per Cleaning The Glass.

When he was paired with Beverley — who received on second-team vote) on the floor, the Bulls posted a plus-8.8 net efficiency differential, ranking in the 93rd percentile and fueled primarily by their defense which ranked in the 98th percentile.

Still, what Caruso brings to the floor – things like the intensity with which he plays or the multiple ways he can be deployed – don’t always show up in the stat sheet.

It’s that often-overlooked added value that had the Bulls holding firm amid trade calls for his services at this past season’s deadline. And why they could have a tough time parting with him even as they have a plethora of guards and several other needs including more shooting and size on the wings.

For his part, Caruso has not said anything about the honor, though he did retweet both the Bulls and a tweet from his alma mater Texas A&M congratulating him.

Alex Caruso Calls Out Bulls’ Inconsistency

Caruso has also emerged as a leader, first foretelling of what was to come in Game 3 versus the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs last year after they got a surprise win on the road in Game 2.

Now, in an interview with Dime Magazine, Caruso outlined the Bulls’ struggles this season.

“We had a little bit of an up and down year,” Caruso told Bill DiFilippo of Dime. “And I think that’s probably what just held us back a little was just a little inconsistency

“It’s tough because we know what we were capable of when we played our best, and that’s kind of the sour taste in your mouth as you go home the middle of April rather than playing into May. So obviously, a little underwhelming and disappointing year for us, just given what we expected to be at. But I thought at certain points, we played really, really good basketball.”

To that end, the Bulls closed the season on a 14-9 run, had the Miami Heat – who are up 3-1 over the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals – on the ropes in the second round of the Play-In Tournament, and finished with a top-five defense.

The Bulls’ problem is that “close” only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

They need tangible results which will require actual changes and improvements, executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas will again explore all options.

Chicago is limited in what it can do thanks to previous dealings. They will likely hand over their first-round pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to the Orlando Magic to finalize the Nikola Vucevic trade and still owe a first-round pick to the San Antonio Spurs to close out their trade for DeMar DeRozan.

With precious few other assets, Caruso is both one of the league’s best values – going into the third year of a four-year, $36.9 million deal – and is arguably the Bulls’ best trade chip.

Patrick Beverley Will Get His Ring From The Lakers

During the ‘Pat Bev Podcast with Rone’ on May 3, Beverly revealed a conversation he had with his former Lakers teammate Russell Westbrook in which the latter confessed his desire for a championship ring should their former team win it all.

Beverley also revealed that he felt the same way.

While it made for a funny story given how both players’ tenures ended – both were traded at the deadline – it is not as far-fetched as it may have seemed.

Beverley previously said he demanded a trade and that Lakers head coach Darvin Ham was using him like a “fork” instead of a “spoon”. Westbrook said that he felt a sense of relief after being traded from his hometown team.

Both players – who did help bring back pieces who have proven valuable since – can still have a happy ending to their respective tales with what is arguably the NBA’s most storied franchise.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments