Bulls Notes: Drummond, Taylor, DeRozan, Terry

Making his first start since joining the Bulls, Andre Drummond turned in an elite performance with 24 points and 25 rebounds in Tuesday’s win over Atlanta, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Drummond’s opportunity came because of an injury to starting center Nikola Vucevic, and he delivered his first 20-20 game in nearly three years. With Vucevic expected to miss several games, the 30-year-old center will continue to start for a while.

“My mentality is that I’m not a backup,” Drummond said. “I still believe I’m a starter in this league. But the position I’m in now, I take it and play it to the best of my ability.”

Drummond knew he was accepting a reserve role when he signed with Chicago in 2022, but he showed that he still has the skills that made him a two-time All-Star. He’s only averaging 14.3 minutes per game this season, but he was on the court for 39 minutes last night, putting up a monster stat line that included 10 offensive rebounds, three steals, two blocks and an 11-of-13 shooting performance.

“I’m really happy for him just because every day he comes in, he works,” coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s about the team. And a guy of his caliber and what he’s done in his career, he’s probably a guy, like he said, who deserves more minutes and could have played more minutes. But he always does what’s best for the team.”

There’s more from Chicago:

  • The Bulls will use some small-ball lineups to help get through Vucevic’s absence, according to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Donovan gave 6’5″ Terry Taylor some minutes in the middle against Atlanta and indicated that Patrick Williams may also see time in that role.
  • DeMar DeRozan is making an effort to get his teammates involved in the offense early in games, Johnson adds. DeRozan led the Bulls with 25 points on Tuesday, but he recorded four assists before hitting his first basket. “It makes my job easier going into the fourth quarter,” DeRozan said. “Those guys look to me to close out the game. Sometimes not necessarily scoring but play-making and trying to make the right decisions. It’s fun. There’s never a game where I feel like I gotta get up X amount of shots or whatever. I trust those guys. And I know when they give me the look, it’s time for me to do my part.”
  • Donovan is turning to Dalen Terry to fill in for Torrey Craig while he recovers from a plantar fascia sprain, notes Annie Costabile of The Chicago Sun-Times. The second-year shooting guard was averaging 18.6 minutes per game over the last three contests prior to Tuesday. “He knows he’s got to get better,” Donovan said. “But I don’t want him totally focused on that. He’s going to play whether he’s missing or making shots. Even earlier on, when he was getting an opportunity to play, what impressed me was [that] his discipline has increased [his execution] on both ends of the floor.”
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