Donovan plans to balance rest, prep during pre-playoff break

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The Bulls will get at least five days off between Sunday's regular season finale and their first playoff game. It's up to coach Billy Donovan and staff to figure out how to balance rest with preparation.

    The Bulls will get at least five days off between Sunday's regular season finale and their first playoff game. It's up to coach Billy Donovan and staff to figure out how to balance rest with preparation. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/8/2022 7:24 PM

By avoiding the play-in tournament, the Bulls will get at least five days off between Sunday's regular season finale at Minnesota and their first playoff game in five years.

Since this is just the second year of the play-in tournament, coach Billy Donovan has never gone through this before. He talked about trying to balance rest with keeping a competitive edge.

 

"These guys are so used to playing either every other day or back-to-backs," Donovan said before Friday's game. "We're going to have to incorporate some kind of scrimmaging and contact and banging and those things, because I just don't think you cannot not play for six days or seven days and just go into your first playoff game.

"There's got to be a recovery piece too. How do you manage Zach' (LaVine's) knee during that time? How you manage Alex (Caruso's) back? Medical will be heavily involved in that. I just don't think you can just go through shell defensive principles and concept without letting these guys play some."

Donovan said the process of figuring out a plan will likely begin during the flight to Minneapolis on Saturday.

Ball stays with recovery:

Now that the Bulls have given up on the idea of Lonzo Ball playing again this season, they still have to figure out how he can complete his recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery.

"He'll be here in Chicago for the remainder of the season," coach Billy Donovan said. "No one's told anything to me that he would need another surgery. The main focus is how do we get rid of his knee pain. All the details, I'm not sure, but that's the main goal right now. I'm not sure anybody knows how long that will take."

Caruso out again:

Alex Caruso missed his second straight game Friday with a low back contusion. It seems unlikely he'll play at Minnesota on Sunday.

"He still has some mobility issues, discomfort," coach Billy Donovan said. "Clearly I think in the Milwaukee game (on Tuesday), he wasn't moving very well."

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