The Chicago Bulls secured a 109-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the 2023 NBA Play-In Tournament on Wednesday. DeMar DeRozan’s daughter, Diar DeRozan, could be heard screaming every time a Raptors player was shooting a free throw. Although Scottie Barnes was unsure if it had an effect, he gave credit to Diar for trying.
"Went 18/36, it had to have an affect."
– Scottie Barnes on Diar DeRozan distracting the Raptors at the FT line
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) April 13, 2023
During the game, Diar’s voice could be heard over the national broadcast every time Toronto went to the line. Despite the Raptors going 18-for-36 from the line, Barnes acknowledged that Diar’s vocal support may have played a part in their poor performance. He said, “It was quiet in the gym. She was yelling. I was trying to figure out who it was… I don’t know if it really had an effect. We went 18-for-36 (from the line) so it had to have an effect somewhat. She did a great job.”
Diar would have been thrilled to hear Barnes give credit to her impact. She certainly tried her best, and it may have played a role in the Raptors’ loss. Nevertheless, she witnessed her father, DeMar, put forth a solid effort with 23 points and 7 rebounds, including two emphatic slam dunks, to secure the win for the Bulls.
For Barnes and the rest of the Raptors, it’s the end of the season after a disappointing year. Barnes, in particular, underperformed after being named Rookie of the Year last season. The team will be looking for better production from him in the 2023-2024 season.
Looking ahead, only Diar is likely to tune in to the next round of the NBA Play-In Tournament between the Bulls and the Heat. If the Bulls are wise, they will give her a seat right behind the hoop to support her father and cheer on the team. As Barnes noted, her vocal support could make a difference in the game’s outcome.
DeMar DeRozan Leads Bulls to Victory with Stellar Performance and Tenacious Defense
The Chicago Bulls claimed a 109-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the NBA Play-in tournament, thanks to the stellar performances of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and the defensive efforts of Alex Caruso and Patrick Beverley. LaVine scored 39 points, with 30 coming in the second half, while DeRozan added 23 points. Caruso and Beverley, on the other hand, showed their defensive prowess by shutting down the Raptors and sparking the team’s comeback from a 19-point deficit.
DeRozan commended the tenacious defense of Caruso and Beverley, saying, “We feed off those guys. It’s contagious.” The Bulls’ “Big Three” of LaVine, DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic have the offensive skills to go toe-to-toe with any opponent, while Caruso and Beverley lock up their foes on the other end, allowing the team’s stars to shine.
Caruso, who had three blocks and three steals, defended Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet, two of Toronto’s All-Stars. He expressed his willingness to do whatever it takes to make the team successful, especially during this crucial time of the year when the stakes are high. “This is kind of my time of year,” Caruso said. “This is why I play basketball in the NBA, for games late in the year where details and discipline matter. And being able to compete at a high level for 48 minutes. I just didn’t want to lose. When you have that edge, you tend to make plays.”
DeRozan praised Caruso and Beverley’s defensive mindset, saying, “It’s amazing how much pride they take in being defenders. With us being the leaders of the team, we gotta follow behind and rally behind. They lock up, get steals, make big plays, sacrifice their body diving for the ball. It gets us going.”
The Bulls’ collective efforts led them to victory, and they look forward to carrying their momentum into the playoffs.