Forget the Twitter trash talk, which included the Bucks deleting a Tweet that appeared either to troll the Chicago Bulls, make light of a serious situation, or both.
Forget the debate on whether Grayson Allen is a dirty player, which the Bulls publicly — and privately to the league office — expressed.
Strip away all of that and focus on the absolute gut punch to the Bulls’ season that Alex Caruso’s fractured right wrist and impending surgery represents.
At a time Zach LaVine is nursing a short-term left knee injury and Lonzo Ball is on the precipice of a knee scope to assess meniscus damage, the Bulls lose a big piece from the heart and soul of their defense, one of their best communicators and leaders and someone who regularly appears in closing lineups.
It’s a lot.
The Bulls have overcome a lot this season, including another significant injury caused by a flagrant foul in Patrick Williams, current impactful injuries to Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr., and a team-wide COVID-19 outbreak.
But this one seems particularly cruel.
Caruso was in his second game back after missing 15 of 19 contests — including two early exits from games he started due to hamstring and foot injuries, and a string of 13 straight absences extended by a stay in health and safety protocols. Already, the Bulls looked energized by his return.
And in perhaps the cruelest twist: Caruso thought he had avoided…