Alex Caruso Won't Play Bulls vs. Bucks Game 5 With Concussion; Zach LaVine Likely Out

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 27, 2022

Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine during the second half of Game 2 of their first round NBA playoff basketball game Wednesday, April 20, 2022, in Milwaukee. The Bulls won 114-110 to tie the series at 1-1. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
AP Photo/Morry Gash

The Chicago Bulls are likely to be without guards Alex Caruso and Zach LaVine for Wednesday's Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Caruso was ruled out while he remains in concussion protocol, and LaVine is in COVID-19 protocols, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. 

LaVine, 27, averaged 24.4 points on 47.6 percent shooting, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in his fifth season with the Bulls.

Thanks in part to his efforts, combined with those from offseason additions DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls broke a four-year playoff-less streak and finished sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 46-36 record.

LaVine suited up for 67 regular-season games. He missed time in the NBA's health and safety protocols and because of a left knee injury, back spasms, left knee soreness on multiple occasions and rest.

The former UCLA star then entered the NBA's health and safety protocols a second time Tuesday, per Charania.

Losing LaVine, the team's second-leading scorer, is a major blow. The Bulls already went through most of the season without point guard Lonzo Ball, who was limited to 35 games after undergoing season-ending left knee surgery.

Ball's continued absence and Caruso being ruled out will leave Chicago without its two best perimeter defenders. 

That puts a major onus on DeRozan (27.9 PPG) to provide scoring alongside Vucevic (17.6 PPG). 

Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White and Javonte Green will see increased minutes.