DeMar DeRozan

Bulls' DeMar DeRozan takes exception to Pascal Siakam taking unnecessary shot

Ejection caps frustrating night for former Raptors star, Bulls as they drop 7 games below .500

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TORONTO --- On a night he agreed is perhaps his low point of his Chicago Bulls tenure, DeMar DeRozan drew his second technical foul and an ejection with 1 second left in Friday's loss to the Toronto Raptors.

DeRozan took exception to Pascal Siakam attempting a 3-point shot with 3 seconds left and the Raptors leading by 12 points when Siakam could've dribbled out the clock. DeRozan angrily chastised the Raptors bench and coach Darko Rajakovic, who told coach Billy Donovan that Siakam attempted the shot because point differential matters for In-Season Tournament ramifications.

The Raptors actually had been eliminated from In-Season Tournament advancement before the game, but apparently, word didn't get to Rajakovic and Siakam. There's an unwritten code in the NBA that teams leading late in games either take a shot-clock violation or dribble out the clock if the possession begins with fewer than 24 seconds, as the Raptors' possession did.

"I don’t care about no In-Season Tournament points, none of that. Just respect for the game," DeRozan said. "If the roles was flip-flopped and I had the ball, hold it. It is what it is."

Asked if he could share what he said to the Raptors bench, DeRozan said no. Asked if there's a clean version of what he said, DeRozan said no again.

"I mean, I knew that (they were eliminated)," DeRozan said. "But I didn’t care about that either. Just everybody was yelling at him, ‘Score, score, score.’ Take the win. Get out of here. Like I said, if roles were reversed, needing In-Season Tournament points or not, just for the respect I have for my opponents, I hold the ball. Especially if there’s no shot clock. That’s just me."

On his way off the court, DeRozan shared a hug with his former boss in Masai Ujiri, who watches games from the tunnel, and also tore off his jersey. It was the second thing DeRozan tore in frustration on Friday, ripping a towel during a timeout on the bench.

"I can’t fake it. I’m beyond frustrated. And I think it’s rightfully so as a competitor," DeRozan said. "Everybody in this locker room is frustrated. It’s from a good place of being a competitor and wanting to figure it out that badly. Put a couple wins together. I really truly believe that can shift everything for us."

The Bulls once again endured a slow start. They have led after just three of 17 first quarters and trailed by double digits in the first quarter for the fourth time already this season.

"We gotta challenge ourself. We can’t have those spiritual talks. We gotta challenge each other to leave it all the way out there," DeRozan said. "That’s a good thing to be challenged. Ask something of yourself more than you ever have at this point, myself included. That’s where we’re at."

Indeed, the Bulls are 5-12 and in danger of a lost season already. They have lost three straight and six of seven. A season that began with such high hopes internally is already almost on life support.

"The true standard of a person is who they become when adversity hits. We gotta stay positive, find some type of positivity. But it is frustrating losing and we have opportunities and it’s self-inflicted. It’s beyond frustrating," DeRozan said. "Sleep on it. It’s going to be a long night. Got a day (Saturday) to dwell on it again. It’s all about how you respond.

"There’s enough here. It’s just about finding that right combination for it to hit on all cylinders consistently. It just seems like we’re kind of all over the place. We’ve showed spurts. We gotta figure it out. It sucks. It’s frustrating. We all hate losing. We hate being in the position we’re in, digging ourselves a hole. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. We have to figure it out.

"We can do it. That’s why I’m so frustrated. It’s not like we’re playing against the '96 Bulls every single night. We can compete with and beat anybody. It’s just a matter of from the tip ball to end, playing the right way, putting the IQ in the game, understanding what we need to do and how hard we need to do it. We gotta figure it out."

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