Opportunities for Dalen Terry will increase as names are added to Bulls’ injury report
DeMar DeRozan, Goran Dragic and Derrick Jones Jr. were all added to the Bulls already deep injury report in the first game of their final back-to-back ahead of the All-Star break.
INDIANAPOLIS — Dalen Terry doesn’t feel any pressure in his role with the Bulls despite never really knowing exactly when his number will be called.
“Honestly, I’m just trying to get in where I fit in,” Terry said after playing nine minutes and scoring four points in the loss Monday night to the Magic. Terry played 15 minutes in the 117-113 loss to the Pacers on Wednesday night.
Coach Billy Donovan commended Terry for contributing valuable minutes despite his limited role all season. As the Bulls’ injury report grows, with DeMar DeRozan, Derrick Jones Jr. and Goran Dragic added to a list that has included Lonzo Ball and Javonte Green, Terry is looking at a chance for an expanded role.
“There will be opportunities for him,” Donovan said.
Donovan’s biggest ask of Terry is to bring energy. As a rookie, Donovan knows he’s going to make mistakes here and miss shots there. But the most significant way he can impact his team right now is by providing a surge coming off the bench.
Carlik Jones and Malcolm Hill both were recalled from the G League in response to the Bulls being hit hard by the injury bug. Five of the Bulls’ top contributors are out, none more significant though than their All-Star.
“We don’t have anyone that’s going to play like DeMar does,” Donovan said.
Donovan didn’t have an update on DeRozan’s status before the game against the Pacers. DeRozan didn’t travel with the team to Indianapolis in favor of staying back and receiving treatment.
Donovan did not rule DeRozan out of the second game of the team’s back-to-back Thursday against the Bucks.
The loss to the Pacers was the Bulls’ fifth in a row, their worst skid of the season, and one of the reasons is their teetering offense.
Their 111.7 offensive rating has them 24th in the league, but their numbers through the month of February paint an uglier picture. The Bulls are 3-5 through the first 21⁄2 weeks of February with a 106.4 offensive rating that is better only than the Spurs.
Although Donovan said Monday that his team never has lived or died by the three-pointer, shooting 27.3% from distance over the last seven games certainly isn’t giving them much life.
To Donovan, the concern isn’t what they’re running on offense, but a regression in their decision-making skills.
“When you evaluate the offense, is it what we’re running or how we’re running it?” Donovan said. “You can say, ‘OK, we’re going to revamp everything,’ and you’re still in the same situation where you have to make decisions, read what the defense is doing.”
The Bulls’ inability to make successful reads has them a game back of the 10th and final spot in the play-in tournament. Donovan said he needs to see his team’s decision-making skills improve, but they’re running out of time for those necessary improvements to make any kind of difference.
Alex Caruso played 30 minutes Wednesday after missing the game Monday with a left foot injury. Dragic was out against the Pacers with left knee soreness.