Alex Caruso Sounds Off on Bulls Rookie: ‘That’s Contagious’

Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls

Getty Alex Caruso #6 of the Chicago Bulls dribbles up the court.

The Chicago Bulls could have a steal on their hands in rookie Dalen Terry. Taken with the 18th-overall selection in the 2022 NBA Draft, Terry made his NBA official NBA debut late in the third quarter of the Bulls’ preseason opener against the New Orleans Pelicans. It was a game the team would surely like to have back.

New Orleans walked away with the 129-125 victory. But Bulls fans had to be impressed with what they saw in the rookie even given the context.

For the team, it was a sloppy game marred by inefficient offense and sloppy defense.

The Bulls trailed by as many as 19 points in this one and gave up over 70 points in the first half alone. But they were able to battle back in the second half on a rally largely sparked by an unlikely source but one that they might need more than they want to admit.

Terry Praised in Debut

“I loved it,” teammate Alex Caruso said. “I loved how hard he played, the passion he played with. That’s contagious and what you like to see from young guys.” (h/t K.C. Johnson/NBC Sports Chicago)

Terry picked up right where he left off from his encouraging summer league performance in Las Vegas.

He quickly put his two-way versatility on display with his length proving problematic on the perimeter and the lane. Terry also disrupted drives with his size but was not just a defensive presence by any stretch, especially with the ball in his hands.

“He raised the energy of our team,” Bulls head coach Billy Donovan said of Terry.

That is just what the Bulls thought Terry would do when they selected him as general manager Marc Eversley explained on draft night.


Terry Keeping Things in Perspective

Ever the competitor, Terry gave a frank assessment of his first performance. Even though the games do not count at this point, that is all the rookie was concerned with amid the fanfare of his showing.

Again, this type of approach is part of what drew the Bulls to Terry. There was even some hope that his intensity would rub off on third-year forward Patrick Williams.

Many feel Williams holds the keys to the Bulls’ future.

Williams had himself an alright game. He did not shoot it particularly well going 2-for-7 for five points, five rebounds, and one assist. He also finished as a plus-9, the highest plus-minus among all Bulls starters while showing more aggressiveness offensively.

Terry’s Future is Bright

The night belonged to Terry even as the Bulls starters shot a combined 19-of-37 from the floor, though they did go 7-of-14 from three-point range.

His performance was not perfect.

Terry had three turnovers to his two assists and saw a near-perfect defensive sequence ruined by using his hands a bit too much. He finished the game with three personal fouls in a little over 17 minutes of action. Still, Donovan will be hard-pressed to keep Terry off of the floor if he keeps playing this way similar to Ayo Dosunmu’s ascension last season.

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