Bulls give DeRozan a rest vs. OKC; LaVine and Green return

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) scores against the Orlando Magic in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won the game 114-95.

    Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan (11) scores against the Orlando Magic in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. Orlando won the game 114-95. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/24/2022 8:24 PM

While Zach LaVine and Javonte Green are set to return from injuries, DeMar DeRozan will be given a night of rest when the Bulls face Oklahoma City on Monday.

DeRozan scored 41 points in 38 minutes in Sunday's loss at Orlando. The veteran forward has taken a heavy dose of the scoring load while LaVine has been out.

 

"Just with the stretch that we've had with these makeup games and so many games condensed, there would be conversations we'd have," Bulls coach Billy Donovan said before the game. "I just think with DeMar, just physically where he's at, he needs a break here."

DeRozan, 32, has missed three games previously this season, all when he was in health and safety protocols. He's likely to officially be named an All-Star Game starter later this week.

Donovan said center Nikola Vucevic would be a game-time decision with a left knee contusion. He was tripped up during the fourth quarter of the Orlando game and fell on the knee. He stayed in the game and afterward said it wasn't a big deal. Vucevic was later announced as a probable starter.

"This morning it wasn't great," Donovan said. "Everything X-ray wise came back clean and fine, but he does have some swelling and some soreness, so the biggest thing would be how much can he actually move and get things done in his warmup. If he can't go, he can't go."

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LaVine has missed five games since he felt pain in his left knee when landing after a rebound against Golden State on Jan. 14. Green has been out with a adductor strain since Dec. 31 and has missed 12 games.

Donovan said the plan was to keep Green at no more than 25 minutes and play him in short stretches. LaVine will likely play more than that.

Alex Caruso had surgery on his right wrist Monday morning and Donovan said there were no concerns. Lonzo Ball is likely to have his arthroscopic knee surgery later this week, but Donovan did not know an exact date.

Bucks stand by Allen:

Billy Donovan was asked about Milwaukee Bucks players sticking up for Grayson Allen after their teammate committed a flagrant foul that resulted in a broken wrist for Alex Caruso. The Bucks also released a statement saying they disagreed with the one-game suspension and supported Allen.

"I totally get and understand teammates supporting another player," Donovan said. "That's the right thing to do and they should do that. But my question would be if the roles being reversed and it was Alex Caruso that took down Giannis (Antetokounmpo) or took down (Khris) Middleton or took down Jrue Holiday in the same way?

"Sounds like by those comments they basically would be saying, 'That's OK, it wasn't really a malicious act." So I think you have to look at it as if it happened to those guys, would that actually be the same response or would there be a different response."

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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