At 7-3, the Chicago Bulls’ hot start places them tied with the Miami Heat and Washington Wizards for the second best record in the East. Along the way, they answered many of the questions that prompted them to enter the campaign. Chief among them has been the DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine crisis.
The duo are fifth (LaVine) and sixth (DeRozan) in the league for scorers.
LaVine’s numbers are down slightly, especially from three. Although he shoots a career high 90.2% from the free throw line. DeRozan, meanwhile, averages the second-highest points of his career while having a career year in downtown efficiency at 39.1%.
However, something was largely missing. Something big to that.
Nikola Vucevic’s fourth-quarter Nets effort a good sign for the Chicago Bulls
It’s been a struggle for Nikola Vucevic individually even in the midst of team success. He’s averaging his fewest points since his sophomore year in the NBA with a career-low 37.8 percent shot. The 6-foot-11 also shoots his lowest percentage from the outside since he started shooting them with some consistency.
The three-point shooting was particularly surprising as it shoots them at a slower pace than last season. But, since the easiest hits were for him, they just didn’t fall like they normally would.
It looked to be pretty much the same after going 1 in 7 for just two points in the first half.
He did catch seven boards, get two assists, and hit a few shots, though. Things really didn’t get any better immediately after the break as he scored two more small runs and shot a poor 1-of-4 from the floor in the third quarter.
At that point, he was 0-for-2 from the outside.
Vooch came to life in the fourth quarter, netting a perfect 3-for-3 for seven points (all in the final seven minutes), reversing his only attempt of three, and scoring a steal, assist and block for a single number. business.
It’s a small sample size, of course. But its importance cannot be overstated.
Ahead of the game against Brooklyn, Vucevic had shot 30.1% overall in the Bulls’ previous four games and 14.3% in three in their last three outings. The two would easily be the worst efficiency numbers of his career. Hopefully his small share of the Bulls’ 42-17 advantage in the fourth quarter is a sign of what lies ahead for him and this team.
If so, the Bulls will be even better than they were at the start of this campaign.
They will then play on Wednesday when they host Luka Doncic and the 7-3 Dallas Mavericks. The Bulls won both games last season, only one of which Doncic was active.