Bulls Big Man Sounds Off Ahead of Bucks Rematch: ‘I Like a Little Blood’

Tristan Thompson

Getty DeMar DeRozan and Tristan Thompson during a February 28 game agains the Miami Heat.

It’s been 39 days since Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen collided with Alex Caruso at the rim and fractured his right wrist, and the Chicago Bulls have not forgotten.

Ahead of the first regular-season meeting between the two teams since the contradictory play, even newest Windy City addition Tristan Thompson had words (via @rob_schaef on Twitter) on the topic:

Shit. Take one of my dogs out like that, we’re gonna have issues so. You gotta set the tone. That’s what Bulls basketball is about, setting the tone. What he did affected one of our guys, and I don’t think anyone should forget about that. So I’m pretty sure the United Center is going to be rocking tomorrow. I think guys have (it) in the back of their head. And if guys wanna play chippy let’s play chippy. I like it. I like a little blood and sweat, so I enjoy it.

You have to imagine, that if the newest member of the team is speaking this strongly on the topic, it’s a reflection of how others in the Bulls locker room feel.

The 11-year veteran has lived up to all the hype one can have as an addition on the buyout market, quickly earning the trust of his Chicago coaches and teammates.

Trust that Alex Caruso, furiously working on his recovery from the injury, appreciates it too.

He hasn’t said that much in his heavy presence on social media recently but has made sure to alert Chicago Bulls fans of his looming return to the hardwood.

Caruso on the Mend

While the Chicago Bulls make their push for a postseason slot, their first since 2017, Alex Caruso is working just as hard on his rehab from a fractured right wrist.

And the 2020 NBA champ looks primed for a comeback, with video surfacing on Monday of the guard practicing without a brace, which he’d been rocking since his surgery:

Caruso followed that up with an Instagram post on Wednesday night, flashing a photo of him handling the ball during a practice on the Miami Heat‘s home floor in South Beach:

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Is he trying to tell fans something?

Head coach Billy Donovan’s latest update (via NBC Sports) on the guard wasn’t too optimistic, but progress is progress:

He’s gotta get his strength back. Like, he can’t really even pass with that (his right hand), he doesn’t feel comfortable shooting it. There’s not pain. It’s just stiff and it’s weak. That’s gonna take some time to build that up. I think once he gets to that point, then he’ll be certainly cleared for contact. My feeling is it will probably be a couple weeks of doing this, to be honest with you.

In 28 appearances (nine starts) with the Chicago Bulls this season, Alex Caruso is averaging 8.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.

His return, as well as fellow guard Lonzo Ball’s, could dictate the team’s playoff success, or lack thereof.

Bulls Roll With Jumbo Lineup Versus Hawks

In need of size against the Atlanta Hawks’ Clint Capela, head coach Billy Donovan opted to go big, playing Nikola Vucevic and Tristan Thompson together down the stretch.

The immediate results weren’t promising, and the pair didn’t win the Bulls the game, but the head coach made an effort at trying something different in order to turn the tide of the game.

And talking with reporters (via NBC Sports) after the game, it seemed Donovan isn’t ruling out going back to it in future games:

I just thought we needed some physicality around the basket. I think it’s something we can look (at) and go to.

Thompson was even more enthusiastic, citing his days playing next to Kevin Love on the Cleveland Cavaliers, where the two won an NBA championship in 2016:

I think it works. I’ve done it before with [Kevin Love], and I think Vooch and K-Love have a lot of similarities in terms of being a big that can pick-and-pop, can roll, can pass and make plays.

Chicago finishes their first bout with the jumbo lineup with a (-6) net rating in their shared minutes, but Donovan and Thompson are optimistic they can work this to the team’s advantage.

First things first; an avenging win over the Milwaukee Bucks for Alex Caruso would be a substantial boost for a Chicago Bulls team that’s lost three straight.

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