A battle between premier NBA Eastern Conference teams on Friday night escalated when things got physical between the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls.
The second-seeded Bulls and fourth-seeded Bucks played a tight competition throughout.
With five minutes left in the third quarter — and Milwaukee up, 55-54 — the Bulls found a fast-break opportunity that ended in a layup attempt by Alex Caruso, which was contested by Bucks guard Grayson Allen as he yanked Caruso mid-air, causing the Bulls player to land forcefully on his right wrist. The officials called a Flagrant 2 on Allen, leading to his ejection from the game.
In a post-game interview, Caruso didn’t mince words over Allen’s flagrant play.
“Dude just grabbed me out of the air,” Caruso stated. “It’s kind of bulls—. I don’t know what else you can do about it. I’m just glad that I didn’t have any major scary injuries right away.”
Caruso’s criticism was warranted after the Bulls announced that the 27-year-old guard would require surgery for a fractured wrist, expected to sideline him for 6-8 weeks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Not aiding the situation was Allen’s history of forcing hard fouls, dating back to his days at Duke, and a Bucks social media team that prodded Chicago by posting a gif of Grayson Allen Saturday morning. Hours later, the Bulls announced Caruso’s injury update. Caruso finished the game, which ultimately went in Milwaukee’s favor, 94-90.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan tapped into Allen’s history as a mercurial player.
“It just was not good,” Donovan declared. “For it to even be extended to a flagrant 2 to be thrown out of the game, clearly the officials must have felt like there was some intent there the way [Allen] yanked him and snapped him to the floor and his head bounced off the floor. Really, really, really dangerous play.”
“It was really bad. It was really, really bad … For Alex to be in the air like that for him to take him down like that, he could have ended his career,” Donovan admitted. “And he has a history of this. That to me was really dangerous. I really hope the league takes a hard look at something like that, because they could have really, really seriously hurt him.”
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela