Bulls Season Highlights: Cristiano Felicio
*65 game season
Brazilian big man Cristiano Felicio has become a familiar face to Bulls fans, having become the longest tenured Bull and only holdover from the 2015-16 team. Felicio has been on the Bulls long enough to have been teammates with Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Derrick Rose, and though his minutes and role have fluctuated throughout his Bulls career, he has remained a positive influence on the bench, a hard worker always available when called upon.
With an influx of young frontcourt talent coming into the organization in the last few years – chief among them Wendell Carter Jr., Daniel Gafford – Felicio saw his role diminish this season, and through a combination of injury and lack of available frontcourt minutes, he did not see the court this season until January 13. When he did play, the Bulls were often banged up or undermanned (with the aforementioned Gafford and Carter Jr. missing time with injury), but Felicio always played hard when given the chance.
Felicio throws it down against the 76ers.
Let’s take a look at a couple Felicio’s performances this season:
JANUARY 22, 2020 VS MINNESOTA (BULLS 117, WOLVES 110)
Felicio Stat Line: 12 points (5-6 FG, 2-2 FT), 9 rebounds, 1 assist
In a game in which the Bulls took a 19-point first half lead and then held on for dear life as Karl Anthony Towns dropped 40, the Bulls got a much-needed home W due to a hard-charging team effort, and Felicio’s contributions in 22 minutes off the bench was a huge boon to a group missing their top two centers. Felicio made the most of every chance he had, finishing inside and playing within the system while grabbing boards and battling an All Star on the other end. This is how role players can best impact games, and Felicio played within his role and was a key contributor on this night.
FEBRUARY 9, 2020 AT PHILADELPHIA (SIXERS 118, BULLS 111)
Felicio Stat Line: 13 points (5-7 FG, 3-4 FT), 7 rebounds, 1 steal
Though Felicio did not put up monster numbers, this stat line and performance was absolutely nothing to sneeze at. The Bulls walked into this February road game down a lot of bodies – including both Carter Jr. and Gafford – and had to match up with one of the league’s biggest teams, with an All Star frontcourt of Joel Embiid and Al Horford while 6’10” Ben Simmons attacked the basket from the outside. In a matchup in which the Bulls were competitive and leading in the 4th quarter, it was the hot outside shooting of Furkan Korkmaz that did them in (Korkmaz hitting 12 of his 17 shots, including 6 threes, en route to a 30-point night), but Felicio and the undermanned Bulls scrapped their way to making this one respectable.