Bulls not willing to give Milwaukee's Allen benefit of the doubt
By the NBA's rule of law, Milwaukee guard Grayson Allen was exonerated for hitting DeMar DeRozan in the back of the head during Wednesday's game.
But the debate will continue, considering his history with the Bulls: What were Allen's intentions when he dramatically stumbled away from contact with Patrick Williams?
Referees watched video review and assessed just one penalty during the third-quarter play -- a foul on Williams for a push against Allen. A slight push, it would be fair to say.
"I gave him a little nudge, but that's on every single screen set this game," Williams said after the game. "I'm not sure what it was. I know he was trying to get the foul, so he sold it a little bit extra, a lot extra than it really was. I didn't even extend my arms, so I didn't push him that hard for him to go flying in the air."
It did look like Allen's reaction to Williams' nudge fit into the "I'm just going to swing my arms and if I hit you, it's your fault," description.
Allen made a solid connection with an elbow to the back of DeRozan's head, sending the Bulls' top scorer to the floor. DeRozan reacted angrily, but shrugged off the incident later.
"I just felt a hit," DeRozan said. "Just felt like I went across the middle in a football game and tried to catch a slot route and got hit, that's all it was."
Of course, Allen has a rough history against the Bulls. His flagrant foul last season resulted in a broken wrist and six weeks on the sideline for Alex Caruso.
"It's his track record," DeRozan said of his angry reaction. "If it was (affable center) Boban (Marjanovic), I wouldn't have did nothing. Who knows? I didn't know if it was on purpose or what happened, I just felt an excessive hit."
The Bulls came back to beat Milwaukee on Wednesday at the United Center after trailing by 15 points in the fourth quarter. DeRozan finished with 42 points and scored 10 of the Bulls' 13 points in overtime.
"You don't want to fire somebody up like that," Zach LaVine said. "We know (Allen's) track record. Pat got the foul, but obviously DeMar got elbowed in the back of the head.
"I think we came out and we made up for it with a big win and DeMar responded the right way. The next 20 minutes you saw what happened."
DeRozan also had an animated discussion with ex-Bull Bobby Portis during the game, but laughed that one off.
"I grew up talking trash sunup to sundown," DeRozan said with a smile.
Allen, whose history of dirty plays goes back to his college days at Duke, maintained his innocence after the game.
"I didn't run over there to knock over (DeRozan)," Allen said, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I was trying to slip out to the corner like we do 40 times a game. What they called is exactly what happened."