Four in a Row(!), Vucevic is a Monster on the Glass, Bucks Make a Move, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Four in a Row(!), Vucevic is a Monster on the Glass, Bucks Make a Move, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

DeMar DeRozan is playing as well as anyone in the league, and I stole this nugget from Patrick to exemplify just that in today’s bullets:

DeRozan had this, quite simply, to say to Stacy King and Adam Amin about his 19-point fourth-quarter performance after the game: “Win, that’s the only thing I know is [how to] win.” Check out some of the accomplishments for DeRozan and his current streak of red-hot performances:

•   7th consecutive 30+ point performance.
•   6th consecutive 35+ point performance.
•   Third 40+ point performance in his last 13 games.
•   Passed Bob Lanier to become the 58th all-time leading scorer in NBA history.
•   Averaging 37.5 PTS, 6.0 REB, 5.5 AST over his last seven games.

What the All-Star starter has done over the last seven games is beyond miraculous, but his sheer impact on this team and the league stretches far past that small sample size. I ranted about DeRozan’s heroics in a separate post this morning, so if you want to join me, feel free to check that out below:

•   Thanks in large part to a scolding hot DeRozan, the Chicago Bulls find themselves on a four-game win streak with one more contest left before a much-needed All-Star break. Last night’s win over the Spurs was a strong bounceback from the 9-point loss the team suffered in San Antonio a handful of games back. They held the Spurs to a much-improved 6-20 performance from behind the arc compared to their 16-37 showing back in late January. However, one of the biggest and most important swings came on the glass. Nikola Vucevic’s 16 rebounds helped pace the Bulls to a 53-33 advantage in that department, a major improvement from their 44-37 loss in that category last time around. The aggressive presence of Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr. also helped level this playing field, as the two versatile role players grabbed 9 and 7 rebounds, respectively.

•   Speaking of rebounding, while the team as a whole still sits 27th in rebounds per game, Vucevic has continued to destroy opponents in this category. Since January 15th, he leads the league in total rebounds and is averaging 12.6 per game. Of course, some of that is due to the fact that the Bulls don’t have much size to help him out up front, but we also know how much the big man takes pride in attacking the glass. He is now averaging the 5th-most rebounds per game on the season, which is one spot above where he finished in the league rankings during the 2020-21 campaign.

•   Last night’s victory marked the 37th of the season. Why is that worth mentioning? Well, The Athletic John Hollinger projected the Bulls to finish with exactly 37 wins in his season preview. That’s all I’ll say about that.

•   Look, I find it impossible not to be uneasy about this Zach LaVine situation. While I remain encouraged by the fact that the initial MRI a couple of weeks back showed no structural damage, there is still clearly an issue that needs to be addressed. We don’t know exactly how long that will take nor what a second look by a specialist will unveil. NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson did at least note that this visit could be as much “mental” as it is “physical” for LaVine on the latest Bulls Talk Podcast, but I’m still not going to let my guard down until an update by the team is provided. Fortunately, we should get one soon with LaVine expected to participate in All-Star festivities this weekend.

•   Between Serge Ibaka and DeAndre Bembry, the Milwaukee Bucks have now added two players I believe could have provided significant help to the Chicago Bulls.

•   Seriously, this has to put some pressure on the front office, right? I understand that simply getting healthy will make the biggest difference for the Bulls, but that doesn’t necessarily change the fact this team could benefit from some defensive upgrades, especially down low. I also can’t help but be irked by the fact that Milwaukee jumped to add Bembry right after news of a hand injury for Pat Connaughton. They are acting fast to fill the gaps on their team, and it’s a tad frustrating to watch knowing the Bulls still have to play this squad three times in a very tight East race.

•   The Bucks have also been rumored as a team that could “ramp up” their pursuit of Goran Dragic. Who is to say how this Bembry news changes things, but it’s still something to keep an eye on.

•   I already have it as a back tattoo.

•   So we can all agree that we will watch the alternate broadcast, right?

•   Take the best offer.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.