Arcidiacono forces way into Bulls rotation
Bulls coach Billy Donovan added a twist to the rotation in the last few games, playing both backup point guards, Ryan Arcidiacono and Tomas Satoransky together with the second unit.
Arcidiacono played well when given opportunities early in the season, but his playing time disappeared once Satoransky returned from a bout with the coronavirus on Jan. 22.
"I think it was just more from an energy standpoint, just putting him in there and giving him an opportunity," Donovan said before Monday's game. "Arch is a guy that I have confidence and belief in.
"I've got a lot of respect and admiration for him because he's a total team guy, he's great on the bench even when he's not in the rotation. He's good at lifting those guys up. I think he's been really, really valuable to our team."
His opportunities have been limited, but Arcidiacono does lead the Bulls in plus-minus per minute played. As a bonus, he was added to the rotation last Friday in his hometown of Philadelphia and scored a season-high 10 points in 18 minutes
Early in the season, the former Villanova star missed two weeks due to health and safety protocols after teammate Chandler Hutchison tested positive for COVID-19.
"It was tough to start the year given the contact tracing stuff, so you're kind of behind the 8-ball when guys start playing well, developing the rotation," Arcidiacono said. "But I've always been a guy that regardless if I'm playing 20 minutes, no minutes, 5 minutes, 30 seconds, I'm always going to come in, bring energy, bring energy on the bench, whatever I have to do to help our team win.
"I call myself a utility baseball player out there because (Donovan) will throw me out there and be like, 'All right, you're playing off the ball,' with Sato and Coby (White) in the game, with Coby just in the game,' whatever the case is. I know what my role is on this team, and it might not be playing every single night, but I know I can impact the game even if I'm not playing."