Dallin Terry freshens up the Bulls, United Center in his first NBA pre-season appearance

It didn’t take long for Dalen Terry to make a first impression in his NBA debut on Tuesday night.

Entering a noticeable applause from the United Center faithful just after the middle of the third quarter, Terry made his first possession to guard his corner man. A reversal of the ball by the New Orleans Pelicans forced Terry to turn to slow a Jonas Valancionas pass, forcing a pass and another turnover.

After this, Terry fell into a defensive position, facing talented goalscorer Devonte Graham. Terry displayed powerful footwork, athleticism and lively energy as he lingered with Graham for several seconds before drawing a sly boundary call that sent the first-round pick into a thrilling display of disbelief.

“I loved how hard he played, and the passion with which he played,” said Alex Caruso. “This is contagious and what you like to see from young men.”

Terry finished with 11 points, including a dunk from a steal, with seven rebounds and two assists. But it’s a more subdued, subtle trait that Billy Donovan takes pleasure in. The Chicago Bulls coach praised how Terry handled the bench at the start of the game, and the expected second unit dominated the minutes of the first half.

“He’s very competitive, which I love, and eager to learn and improve. And I think when you start with those qualities, shooting, striking, passing, whatever you want to work on you’ll get better,” said Donovan. “But it’s hard to create the kind of competitiveness he has.”

Giving Terry his trademark energy after sitting for so long bodes well if and when his number is called this season. As of now, it is not expected to be a rotational piece. But Ayo Dosunmu didn’t do that either at this point last season.

“I was just on set,” Terry said. “When talking to vets, especially Ayew about his senior year, they say whenever you get called, make sure you set aside three to six minutes, six minutes to 12 minutes. I know defense is my way on court.”

Terry felt he had played well, noting that the Bulls were not winning. This is the only outcome he focuses on.

But before the start of the season or not, the rookie showed solid ball handling, including starting the attack with the third unit, and powerful passing over his defensive capacity. The crowd noted that Terry led the second half run that helped the Bulls erase a 19-point deficit to make the mostly stale game competitive.

“I thought it lifted our team’s energy and definitely got the place excited,” said Donovan.

Dosunmu noticed. The second-year guard could be the model for Terry, one who traversed the G League’s projected track of 40 starts and 77 games with a defensive mindset and acceptance of the jack-of-all-trades role.

“Play hard. He’s on the right track,” Dusonmu said of his advice to Terry. He has the right mindset. It’s competitive. ”

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