Bulls Star DeMar DeRozan Sheds Light on Status After Injury Scare

DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

Getty DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls looks on.

The Chicago Bulls (19-22) fell against the hosting Boston Celtics 107-99 on Monday but the loss is secondary. Much more pressing is the health of DeMar DeRozan who went down in the third quarter with an apparent quad injury.

Chicago entered the night on a three-game winning streak doing a lot to curtail some of the noise that emerged during their four-game losing streak earlier in the year.

Head coach Billy Donovan addressed the situation after the game saying he didn’t know much beyond it being a “quad strain”. But DeRozan was a major part of their surge and losing him for any length of time would be a serious blow for a Bulls team whose inconsistency has led the front office to waffle on whether or not to make a trade and which way to go with it.

DeRozan offered a little more insight into the worrisome injury.

Bulls Appear to Dodge Bullet With DeMar DeRozan Injury

“I thought I tripped,” DeRozan said with a smile while seated at his locker. ” But I guess apparently I didn’t trip over nothing. It was the parquet floor. I don’t know, just when I tripped I guess – my quad been sore, had kind of been bothering me – it kind of just contracted a little bit more and made it a little more irritated. That’s all.”

He added that he didn’t want to be a hindrance to the team due to his compromised mobility finishing the night with 13 points, three rebounds, and three assists. DeRozan has shown no ill effects averaging 28.6 points on 58.3% true shooting over the last eight games.

The 14-year veteran has started every game this season seeing over 30 minutes in all but two outings.

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He missed just six games last season and finished second on the team behind Ayo Dosunmu in total appearances. He is tied for the team lead this season along with big man Nikola Vucevic and forward Patrick Williams.

Chicago went 3-3 without DeRozan last season including going 2-1 after also losing Lonzo Ball.

“I mean I feel fine other than just…being real irritating and uncomfortable,” DeRozan said. “Nothing too crazy. It’s just in that spot where moving…you need that to kind of simmer down and not be so sore where it’s at. Kind of making me feel limited in making certain type of moves.”

DeRozan said he will receive treatment over the next days or so and see how he feels ahead of Wednesday’s tilt against the Washington Wizards.

“Taking it day-by-day,” he said.

Bulls Faced With Opportunity

This could be the moment Zach LaVine has been pining for if reports of his dissatisfaction with his standing in the pecking order were true. LaVine was said to have an issue with DeRozan’s number constantly being called in late-game situations. Donovan pushed back on that but did describe scenarios in which LaVine is part of the play but not the primary option.

Either way, LaVine got his first chance to shine sans DeRozan against Boston and did not disappoint.

The two-time All-Star dropped a team-high 27 points with 15 coming in the fourth quarter as the Bulls attempted to mount a feverish comeback from a deficit that grew as large as 16 points in the second half.

They never led again after initially taking a 3-0 lead to open the game.

This could also open up more opportunities for Williams and Coby White while opening up the paint for Vucevic more. The Bulls would surely rather have DeRozan in the mix than not.

DeMar DeRozan’s Injury a Reality Check

Not only does this present the Bulls with a chance to work on many of the things that Donovan has been preaching since last season. That is the Bulls’ overreliance on DeRozan’s ability to take and make tough shots, especially in tightly contested situations.

But, at 33 years old and with two years remaining on his contract, there is also a finite amount of value left in his Bulls tenure.

With the trade deadline one month away and the Bulls straddling the line between the Play-In Tournament and another appearance in the lottery, there could be some tough decisions that need to be made. That was the case before DeRozan’s injury and remains so in the wake of what could have been a devastating development.

If LaVine’s night was a glimpse into what could be minus DeRozan the Bulls could manage.