Booing Bucks’ Grayson Allen has backfired and now Bulls on the brink

It should warm the hearts of the Bulls and their fan base to hear about Grayson Allen’s tough week.

The Bucks’ reserve guard was booed unmercifully in Games 3 and 4 at the United Center. And it didn’t stop there.

“Walking on the bus? ‘Boooo.’ In the hotel? ‘Boooo.’ About to watch film? ‘Boooo,’ ” Allen described of what he’s gone through.

Then he started laughing. If only his teammates would leave him alone.

While the worst news about this best-of-seven first-round playoff series for the Bulls was they were now down 3-1 and headed for possible elimination Wednesday in Game 5, that was only 1A. The 1B in that department was not only Allen’s emergence, but how his own team took the booing and hatred thrown his way since he arrived in Chicago last Thursday, and turned it on the Bulls and their fan base.

Milwaukee players see Allen walk into practice, they boo him. See him in the hotel? More boos.

“They have so much fun doing it,” Allen said of his teammates. “I think it’s funny. I think it’s honestly hilarious. They’ve kind of turned it into a fun thing. It makes hearing it out there in the game a lot easier too because they think it’s so funny.”

So much for Allen’s tough week.

And not only did the former Duke guard find the entire situation funny, he’s played some of the best basketball of his career in the wake of it.

Allen’s 22 points in Game 3 was his new career-high in a playoff game. A record that didn’t last very long, as he then came back in Game 4 and dropped 27 on an impressive 6-for-7 from three-point range.

“I was in the right spots a lot,” Allen said of his latest performance. “Knocked down a couple shots early and got in a rhythm.”

He’s done more than that, however. Allen has completely changed the momentum of the series.

Since becoming public enemy No. 1 in Chicago back in January, it’s been a roller coaster of a ride for Allen. His one-game suspension for the flagrant-2 foul that fractured the right wrist of Bulls guard Alex Caruso was the low, but what he’s experiencing right now has definitely been the high.

After the first two games of the series, the No. 6 seeded Bulls actually had the defending champs on the ropes, surviving Milwaukee with a split and headed to Chicago with the Bucks down All-Star Khris Middleton (MCL sprain).

The feeling was that an even bigger workload would have to fall on the shoulders of all-world forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, but that hasn’t been the case. It’s been the role players that have led to back-to-back Bucks blowouts, with Allen the face of that bench group.

Boos and all.

And while it’s easy to assume that Allen’s previous incidents back in college have somehow made him welcoming of the idea of being a villain right out of “Cobra Kai,” that’s not his reality.

“I would still say that it’s not naturally comfortable for me, but I am to the point right now where anytime I go out and play basketball I just remind myself to have fun with it, so I am having fun with it,” Allen said. “It’s not something I feed off of. Like I’m not going out searching for it like, ‘Oh, I love this.’ ”

Leave that to his teammates.

“He’s played amazing,” Antetokounmpo said. “Maybe we’ve got to boo him even more. Maybe Milwaukee fans got to boo him … no, we’re not going to do that.”

It definitely wouldn’t hurt.

NOTE: According to Bulls coach Billy Donovan, Caruso remained in the concussion protocol going through further testing on Monday, and was day-to-day for Wednesday’s Game 5.

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