NBA suspends Allen one game for unnecessary and excessive contact against Caruso

Milwaukee Bucks' Grayson Allen fouls Chicago Bulls' Alex Caruso during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 94-90. (Morry Gash/AP)

The NBA issued a one-game suspension to Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen for having made “unnecessary and excessive contact” against Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso, resulting in substantial injury, the league announced Sunday.

The play Caruso was injured on happened with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter of Friday’s game between the Bulls and Bucks. While on a fast break, Caruso jumped to attempt a layup. Allen ran in from the wing to contest the shot. As both players were in the air, Allen hooked Caruso’s right arm, turning the Bulls guard horizontal mid-air. Caruso then fell hard under the basket.

“Dude just grabbed me out of the air,” Caruso said after the game. “It’s kind of bulls—. I don’t know what else you can do about it. I’m just glad that I didn’t have any major scary injuries right away.”

Initial X-rays on Caruso’s wrist came back negative. However, subsequent imaging revealed a fracture of his right wrist that would require surgery to repair. The Bulls have said Caruso will be re-evaluated in six-to-eight weeks after the procedure.

Officials reviewed the incident during the game and gave Allen a Flagrant 2 foul, which results in an immediate ejection.

Billy Donovan, the head coach of the Bulls, condemned Allen’s foul during his post-game comments.

“It was really, really bad,” Donovan said. “For Alex to be in the air and for him to take him down like that, he could’ve ended his career. [Allen] has a history of this. That to me was really, it was really dangerous. I hope the league takes a hard look at something like that because they could have really, really seriously hurt him.”

In college, while playing for Duke, Allen developed a reputation as a player who committed questionable — and at times, dangerous — plays. On at least three separate occasions, he blatantly tripped opponents mid-game.

After being drafted 21st overall in 2018, he was ejected from a Summer League game for striking an opponent in the head, too.

“I personally thought it was – it wasn’t good,” Donovan said. “It was not good. For it to be even be extended to a Flagrant 2 and be thrown out of the game, clearly the officials must have felt there was some intent there, the way he yanked him and snapped him to the floor, his head bounced off the floor. Really, really, really dangerous play.”

Caruso played 24 minutes for the Bulls on Friday prior to the injury, scoring seven points while adding eight rebounds and four assists. In his first season with Chicago, Caruso averaged 8.4 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.

Allen will serve his suspension on Jan. 26 when the Bucks face the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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