The Bulls boast some of the best young talent in all of basketball, but their biggest weakness is not on-court. The team’s lackluster defense has forced many to wonder if Chicago can ever contend for a championship. Alex Caruso will change that perception with his defensive prowess and work ethic—and he just turned 23 years old!.
The “bulls nba” is the Chicago Bulls. They are already remedying their biggest weakness, which is defense. The Bulls have improved on this aspect of their game by signing Alex Caruso to a 4-year $42 million contract.
Alex Caruso was most likely rated third among the Chicago Bulls’ most crucial summer acquisitions. However, he’s been every bit as important as Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan in Chicago’s opening four games.
In the 2021-22 season, the Bulls were in severe need of perimeter defenders. Caruso provides them with a strong verbal presence as well as someone who can disrupt offenses with his ability to deflect passes and play the passing lanes. He’s energizing a Chicago squad that has to improve its defense if it wants to reach the playoffs this season.
The Bulls inked Alex Caruso to a four-year, $37 million deal this summer.
The Los Angeles Lakers were confronted with a difficult decision this summer. The Lakers effectively had to choose between re-signing Alex Caruso and Talen Horton-Tucker due to financial concerns that loomed over the whole summer. They went with THT, which gave the Bulls the opportunity to make their move.
In free agency, Chicago signed Caruso to a four-year, $37 million deal. The decision represented Bulls front office boss Arturas Karnisovas’ combative temperament.
Prior to the 2021 trade deadline, Karnisovas made a splash by acquiring Nikola Vucevic. The Bulls’ decision did not pay off right away, as they were unable to make the playoffs. Karnisovas, on the other hand, became more fanatical. Ball and DeRozan were signed and traded separately, providing the Bulls two more crucial players to complement Vucevic and Zach LaVine’s core.
The addition of Caruso never had the same oomph as the signings of Ball and DeRozan. Despite this, Caruso is demonstrating why he is just as important as the team’s more well-known players.
Early in the 2021-22 season, Caruso is one of the best defenders in the NBA.
Alex Caruso leads the NBA in deflections per game (4.8) and steals per game (3.3) through four games, playing 27.5 minutes per game.
October 26, 2021 — Rob Schaefer (@rob schaef)
Alex Caruso has already made a significant difference in the Bulls’ defense.
According to NBA.com, Caruso is tied for first in the NBA in deflections per game (4.8) and second in thefts per game (3.3).
Last season, Chicago was 24th in the NBA in forcing turnovers. Through the first four games, it has forced 19.5 turnovers per game, which is excellent for third in the league.
Caruso, on the other hand, provides significantly more to the Bulls defense than simply a playmaker. The 27-year-old communicates well with his teammates, anticipating pin-down screens and calling out switches when needed. The rotations for the Bulls have been tighter. They are recovering better for bouts and battling over screens to go back to individual matchups.
As a help defender, Caruso has excellent instincts. When Vucevic and his frontcourt colleagues go to the weak side, he dips into the paint to assist them, forcing slashers to make difficult choices and sometimes forcing turnovers.
Early in the season, Chicago’s team defense seems to be competent. In the early going, it has the second-best defensive rating (97.9). In the coming weeks, the Bulls’ ability to maintain this high level on that end will be tested.
In the next weeks, the Bulls will confront a difficult schedule.
Cole Burston/Getty ImagesAlex Caruso lunges for a lost ball
As the calendar turns to November, Bulls fans will learn what this squad is all about.
The Chicago Bulls had a relatively easy schedule to begin the season, with two games against the Detroit Pistons, as well as games against the New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors. In the next weeks, things will get substantially more difficult.
The Bulls begin a challenging stretch against the New York Knicks on Thursday. Chicago plays the Utah Jazz in the last game of October before facing the Boston Celtics in the first game of November. Between Nov. 3 and Nov. 21, it will meet the Philadelphia 76ers (twice), Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, both LA teams, Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, and New York Knicks. That’s a daunting schedule, particularly given LaVine is dealing with a thumb injury.
Caruso and the Bulls’ early calling card has been defense. However, Chicago’s next 13 games are against teams with greater offensive firepower, providing a tough early test of the team’s postseason credentials.
Unless otherwise stated, all stats are courtesy of Basketball Reference.
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