Guard Alex Caruso played 33 minutes in the Bulls’ Game 1 loss to the Bucks on Sunday. Coach Billy Donovan said Caruso has been dealing with back pain for several weeks and is trying to tough it out, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times writes. He was limited to seven points and missed all but one of his five 3-point attempts.
‘‘He’s felt the best I think he has felt,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘Is he 100%? No, but he’s a lot better than he was those games before he sat out. I do think with Alex [that minutes restrictions are] going to be somewhat important. I think if you start pushing him with his back up into the high 30s, I don’t think that would be really, really wise. You want to see how he’s feeling in the game. He kind of throws his body in there and plays incredibly hard and physical, so we’ll have to see how he responds.”
We have more from the Central Division:
- The Bucks are wary of how a positive COVID-19 test could affect their playoff run, coach Mike Budenholzer told Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He noted how Paul George missed the Clippers’ second play-in game after testing positive. “There’s been a lot of positive movement. You just don’t want to forget, you’ve just got to know it’s still out there,” Budenholzer said. “When we had the conversation what happened with the Clippers and Paul George had happened and the coaching staff with Chicago. I’m guessing those things pop up in conversations in the locker room or at baskets and things like that. It’s not good, but in the sense of it just being a reminder in conversation, I think it’s helpful. Certainly our guys are aware.”
- The Pistons could have the most cap space in the league this summer but a giant offer sheet for Hornets restricted free agent Miles Bridges wouldn’t be a wise move, James Edwards III of The Athletic opines. Bridges’ best position is probably at power forward and putting him in that spot wouldn’t be a long-term upgrade over Saddiq Bey, who can play either forward spot. If Detroit winds up with a top-three pick, the team will likely draft a power forward, which would force Bridges to play small forward with Bey moving out of position to shooting guard. The only way adding Bridges would make sense would be to trade Jerami Grant for a wing or to draft one with their lottery pick, Edwards writes.
- Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press predicts that Grant, Cory Joseph and Rodney McGruder won’t return next season but that the Pistons will re-sign restricted free agent Marvin Bagley III.