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“I know what our team needs” – Dalen Terry ready to contribute as injuries pile up for the Chicago Bulls

First-round picks aren’t supposed to play just 21 games this far into the season. Yet that is the situation that Chicago Bulls rookie Dalen Terry finds himself in as he tries to get some real-time NBA action on a roster loaded with veterans. The Arizona native may finally get his long-awaited chance as numerous injuries to several players, including DeMar DeRozan, Alex Caruso, and Derrick Jones Jr., have left the Bulls shorthanded and in need of an infusion of youthful athleticism.

"I know what our team needs" - Dalen Terry ready to contribute as injuries pile up for the Chicago Bulls

“I just try to be myself,” Terry said. “I know what our team needs. We talk about it day in and day out. Get in where I fit in. Just going out there and doing what I do, I just know that will give me a chance to stay on the floor.”

Hang his hat on defense

Picked 18th in this year’s NBA Draft, the 6-foot-7 guard struggled to find his place on the regular roster and has spent most of his time playing for the team’s G League affiliate—the Windy City Bulls. However, in the last game, Terry’s number got called up late, and he didn’t hesitate to make an impact, tallying four points and two steals in over eight minutes of action.

He gave the Bulls a dose of youthful playfulness, celebrating an offensive foul called on Orlando’s Bol Bol by slamming his head on the basket stanchion.

“Last couple of times I got an opportunity, they always try to go at me. They were going back-and-forth and the guy was talking a little bit. I take that personally,” Terry said. “That’s one thing I hang my hat on, is defense. That was me being pumped up.”

Donovan was impressed

With DeRozan and Jones out on Wednesday, Terry may get some more minutes to go his way after he impressed Bulls coach Billy Donovan.

“I thought he gave us a really good boost off the bench,” Donovan said. “He competes. He plays with energy. I think the game was really, really fast for him. And he kind of plays with that frenetic pace. And I say that very complimentary. He’s very energized.”

Rookies may, at times, get flustered dealing with the speed of the NBA game, but Terry continues to adjust and adapt to playing with the pros.

“To me, it looked like the game slowed down for him a little. He made some really good decisions. I loved the way he was in there battling and fighting for rebounds and stripping the ball. He had a couple nice drives. I like the fact he was aggressive,” Donovan added.

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