Former Duke basketball standout returns from injury in efficient manner

Duke basketball star Wendell Carter Jr. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball star Wendell Carter Jr. (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) /

A Duke basketball star returned from an extended absence in an efficient manner. 

Since leaving the Duke basketball program and heading off to the NBA, the potential of Wendell Carter Jr. has always been seen in flashes.

Those flashes of excellent play have been good and bad. They show that the Chicago Bulls (12-15) made the right decision in taking the former Blue Devil with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, but the flashes of excellence are also bad because they are just that, flashes.

Carter Jr. has been plagued by injuries throughout his two seasons in the NBA, and that has carried into his third year in the league too.

The 6-foot-10 forward was limited to 44 and 43 games over his first two years, respectively, and sustained a right quad contusion in practice on January 20.

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After nearly a month on the sidelines, Wendell Carter Jr. made his return to the court on Monday night against the Indiana Pacers (15-14).

Immediately being inserted into the starting lineup, head coach Billy Donovan slowly worked his young forward back into the rotation, limiting him to just 21 minutes, but the former All-ACC player was very efficient in his time on the court.

Carter Jr. ended the night with 11 points and nine rebounds on 4-of-7 shooting from the field as the Bulls defeated the Indiana Pacers, 120-112 in overtime.

Duke basketball star vital for success of Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have won the last four games that Wendell Carter Jr. has played in, including Wednesday’s 105-102 victory over the Detroit Pistons (8-20).

Carter Jr. saw an increased 27 minutes while capping his night off with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, as well as three rebounds, two blocks, and a steal while not committing a foul or turnover.

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Through 16 games, Wendell Carter Jr. is averaging 13.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 55.1-percent from the field.

If the NBA regular season ended today, the Chicago Bulls would be the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference, earning them a spot in the ‘Play-In Games’ to qualify for the postseason.

Chicago returns to the court on Friday, February 19 on the road against the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers (19-10). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30pm EST (ESPN).

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