Bulls rookie Dalen Terry makes the most of his first entry into the NBA rotation

TORONTO — Dalen Terry did the math.

He knew the Bulls, already without two rotation players in Coby White and Andre Drummond, also planned to seat Zach LaVine as part of LaVine’s knee management plan.

“I knew we were missing a few guys,” Terry said. “So I was like, ‘Maybe today is the day.'”

Indeed, it was.

Not only did Terry draw the first quarter in Sunday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors, but the Chicago Bulls rookie played a season-high 10 minutes. He finished with four points, a block, a steal, an assist and a rebound while knocking down both shots. He also committed a turnover.

“He was fine. It’s difficult for him because he doesn’t have regular minutes. But he’s going to play with energy and shake things up,” coach Billy Donovan said. “He undoubtedly had some blown assignments. But that’s normal and to be expected. I was glad he had a chance. I like his competitive spirit. »

On Terry’s first three possessions after entering, he stripped OG Anunoby on a disc, forcing a turnover. He cut for a two-team layup from DeMar DeRozan for his first NBA points. And he drew an offensive foul on Chris Boucher’s drive.

“Everyone is preaching, stay ready. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last few games,” said Terry. “I think I played pretty well. We didn’t have the dubbing, so I’m disappointed about that. But I think my overall performance was pretty good and I’m just going to build on what I did. .

It was this attitude – confidence without being arrogant – that endeared Terry to the Bulls.

“I just talk to vets like DeMar. He insisted on telling me: “A lot of guys have been there.” Just wait for your number to be called,” Terry said. “On my rest days, I train and do everything I can to stay in shape, like playing 48 minutes.

The trip also allowed Terry to reunite with his former Arizona teammate, Christian Koloko. The second-round pick played impressively with 11 points, seven rebounds and six blocks.

“Definitely not something I haven’t seen before. I tried to tell everyone how he plays. He did exactly what he does,” Terry said. “Congratulations to him. He had a great game. But we will see him again (Sunday).

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