Bulls guard Alex Caruso bored with the process of his toe healing up

By Chicago 4 Min Read

MILWAUKEE — The sprained toe doesn’t feel great, he admits.

And Bulls guard Alex Caruso was dealing with the problem with some good old-fashioned rest as well as the medical staff “doing scientific stuff that I don’t know the answers to.’’

If only he could find a cure for the boredom that comes with being sidelined.

Missing his second consecutive game, Caruso said he was hoping to be back by Wednesday or Friday. He sounded like a guy counting it down.

“Like, once you get the season going,’’ Caruso said Monday, ‘‘it’s just a routine of shootarounds, nap, food, warmup, game, travel, next day. . . . You know what you’re going to get. When I don’t have that, it’s just a bunch of time where I’m not doing anything. It’s just kind of boring.’’

The good news for the Bulls and Caruso was the injury could’ve been worse.

Caruso said he came down with a rebound in practice Friday and “was twisting after I landed and was pushing off.’’

The pain was initially in the toe but crept to the top of the foot, as well. The treatment and rest have been working but not quickly enough for Caruso.

The Bulls might feel the same way, considering how valuable Caruso has been. Caruso always brings the elite defense, but he also has become one of the team’s better three-point shooters, hitting on 44% and doing it in the clutch.

Then there are the intangibles he brings to the table. Billy Donovan has only seen those attributes from a couple of players he has coached at the NBA level.

“I think the two guys that come to mind are when Andre Roberson was at Oklahoma City, he was kind of like that guy,’’ Donovan said. “He was the defender that guarded a lot of different guys. I think our team got a lot of energy off of him.

“And the other guy his rookie year was [Lu] Dort. He was just this stopping defensive guy, and whoever you put him on, he could be disruptive. Those two guys, I know they’re different players, but they brought that kind of spirit that lifted your team.’’

Stop and go

Guard Ayo Dosunmu continues to be a key fixture off the bench, forcing the coaching staff to increase his minutes.

Besides adding six pounds of muscle, Dosunmu also has a better understanding of how to pace the team when he has the ball.

“I think he’s reading situations better, his change of pace,’’ Donovan said. “He’s understanding how he’s being guarded, what teams are doing to him, and then playing with tempo has allowed him to kind of manipulate some screening actions and find his way downhill into the paint. But he’s played with a very good tempo, a better tempo than he did a year ago.’’

Small climb

The numbers have taken a small jump for Patrick Williams since going from starter to the second unit, especially his field-goal percentage — from 27% to 34% as a reserve. Still not great but better.

“Patrick has responded well to coming off the bench,’’ Donovan said. “He’s going to try to impact the game through the things he feels like he can control.’’

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