Nikola Vucevic is a Late Scratch From Tonight's Matchup With the Hawks

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Nikola Vucevic is a Late Scratch From Tonight’s Matchup With the Hawks

Chicago Bulls

After previously stating that he would be available for tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, the Chicago Bulls have ruled out All-Star Nikola Vucevic. The big man had entered the night questionable with right adductor tightness.

Considering he was expected to play an hour before game time, I don’t think we should expect this to be any kind of extended absence. At the same time, the Bulls are now 3.0 games back from the 10th seed with just nine games to go. I’m not necessarily suggesting that the Bulls are purposefully looking for an excuse to rest guys, but we also can’t rule out that they might be a little more open to just giving the big man the night off at this point in the season. For what it’s worth, though, Donovan did address this concept right before game time:

Regardless, Vucevic’s absence sure makes this game feel like another L for the Bulls. The Hawks are the 9th-best rebounding team thanks to league-leader Clint Capela, who averaged 14.6 boards per game. Atlanta also has the vicious John Collins in the frontcourt, who grabs 7.5 rebounds and averages 17.7 points per game. The Bulls still have two solid defenders in Thaddeus Young and Daniel Theis to throw at the Hawks, but Vucevic is a much-needed big body and necessary interior scoring threat in this matchup.

Go ahead, drop the tank emojis in the comments.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.