Bulls starters praise second team's competitiveness in practice

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr., left, shoots past Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso during a preseason on Oct. 8.

    New Orleans Pelicans guard Kira Lewis Jr., left, shoots past Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso during a preseason on Oct. 8. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 10/18/2021 8:48 PM

With the regular season looming on Wednesday, some Bulls starters had praise for the second unit, for making practice scrimmages competitive.

"It's been a very competitive camp, a lot of playing," Zach LaVine said. "I think that's what Billy (Donovan's) been trying to do, make us play because that's the only way we can start to get to know each other. You just can't go through the motions and start to go out there and play. You have to figure out what it's like through adversity."

 

The Bulls' second group would include Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu, Javonte Green, Troy Brown Jr. and Alize Johnson, among others.

"They've been beating us in a couple of these games and we fire back at them," LaVine said. "So good to go up against the second unit where they are pushing you each and every day and not just coming out and going through the motions because that's what's going to make us better."

Added DeMar DeRozan, "Everybody from top to bottom has got a very competitive spirit. That's what you want. Every time we step on the court we've been competing and I definitely like that."

Donovan expects changes:

Coach Billy Donovan offered some thoughts about how the Bulls' playing rotation could vary from game to game.

"It could be some trial and error, like we could start off with a rotation of 9-10 guys and then after a few games in, someone else could be coming in," he said. "You may get into a situation, where the other team's backup center is really big and you're using Tony (Bradley), then you come back into a game where their backup center is small, you use Alize (Johnson). So we're going to have to figure out that part of it."

Old faces, new places:

Some former Bulls were among other teams' final cuts this week, including Kris Dunn in Memphis and Jabari Parker by Boston.

The list of former Bulls playing for new teams includes, of course, Lauri Markkanen and Denzel Valentine in Cleveland, Tomas Satoransky and Garrett Temple in New Orleans, Thad Young and Doug McDermott in San Antonio and Daniel Theis in Houston.

Otto Porter Jr. was Golden State's third-leading scorer in preseason. Rajon Rondo is back with the Lakers, James Johnson is now with Brooklyn, Robin Lopez in Orlando, Tony Snell in Portland, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot in Atlanta and Chandler Hutchison has a two-way deal in Phoenix.

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