Bulls' Ayo Dosunmu takes advantage of Alex Caruso's absence with huge game

Bulls' Ayo Dosunmu takes advantage of Alex Caruso's absence with huge game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich

The NBA is all about opportunity.

Ayo Dosunmu understands that as well as anyone, taking advantage during his rookie season when Lonzo Ball to unexpectedly start 40 games.

Now that Dosunmu is on the other side of that equation, the 10th player in Chicago Bulls coach Billy Donovan's 10-man rotation, he still works to prepare himself for any opportunity.

Sunday night provided it. With Alex Caruso sidelined with a toe strain that is considered day-to-day, Dosunmu logged first-quarter minutes for the first time this season, played a season-high 26 minutes, 38 seconds and finished a game-best plus-19 to help the Bulls defeat the Pistons at the United Center.

"We have a very deep team," Dosunmu said. "You have to be a true professional and be ready to seize the moment any given night. You have to work out each day. You never know. You have to be ready at all times."

Dosunmu finished with 13 points, four steals, three assists and zero turnovers. He sank six of seven shots and helped flip the energy of the game when he entered after the Bulls endured another slow start.

The Bulls enjoyed a 20-2 run in the second quarter that featured Dosunmu playing a major role with his ball-hawking defense and push-the-pace offensive mentality.

"I told him, 'That (second) quarter was because of you," DeMar DeRozan said. "The energy he brought, getting out in transition, getting those layups and steals, I let him know."

Both Dosunmu and Jevon Carter have played well in limited roles. Donovan typically likes to use a nine-man rotation, staggering either DeRozan or Zach LaVine to play with the second unit.

While he still uses this rotational look, using 10 players has typically left Dosunmu and Carter wanting for more. But instead of complaining, they're contributing.

"Any time you can help give some energy to our team, it's a positive," Dosunmu said. "Me coming off the bench, I can see what the game needs. And I think that's something I've taken away from coming off the bench.

"I know it's a long season. I know we have a pretty deep team. The better I get, the more I can push the team. That will help the team down the road."

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