DeMar DeRozan was saying all the right things heading into Wednesday’s Game 5 elimination game.
That’s what the Bulls veteran had done all season long.
But without Zach LaVine (health and safety protocols) and Alex Caruso (concussion), as well as facing the daunting task of facing the defending NBA champions in their house down 3-1 in the best-of-seven first-round playoff series, DeRozan knew there was also a reality that was going to be faced.
A reality that meant even more attention would be thrown his way.
“I trust my teammates,” DeRozan said. “I understand what’s going to come our way, so it’s up to me to use their aggressiveness, however they try to attack me, take the ball out of my hands, however that may be. Just me being more aggressive, getting my teammates the ball and figuring out how to pick and choose my spots.”
A good plan, but one that had very little hope of playing out the way DeRozan wanted.
Milwaukee ended DeRozan’s storybook season, holding him to just 11 points in the 116-100 Bucks win, as well as sending the Bulls into the offseason filled with more questions than answers.
Questions that will begin to be answered over the next days when players and the front office are expected to talk about what went right and wrong in the roller coaster season.