Vucevic Gets Some Love, 20K On the Horizon, Breaking Unwritten Rules, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Vucevic Gets Some Love, 20K On the Horizon, Breaking Unwritten Rules, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Benny the Bull is going to make Bango wish he never touched popcorn …

  • It’s always nice to get some national love, especially after a season where you received nothing but the opposite. Nikola Vucevic’s strong start to the year made Zach Lowe’s most recent “10 Things I Like + Don’t Like” column over at ESPN. More specifically, the long-time analyst praised Vucevic for his combination of finesse and physicality. The 32-year-old has brought a far more imposing presence on the offensive glass, and he also hasn’t passed up opportunities to back down opposing bigs in the post. The Bulls leaned far too heavily on him as a floor spacer last season, so it’s promising to see head coach Billy Donovan course-correct and have the big man hunt some more high-percentage looks.
  • I also can’t help but look at Vucevic’s strong start and think about his ongoing contract situation. While he wouldn’t admit that it was a motivator ahead of this season, I think it would be hard not to view it as such. We all know that father time is the least kind to big men, so it’s now or never for Vucevic to prove he’s worthy of at least one more solid payday. He’ll surely get it if he stays on this track, and the Bulls very well could be the one to sign the check. Let’s not forget he’s still a 2x All-Star and double-double machine. He’s a great screen-setter, an above-average passer, and a versatile offensive threat. Those players aren’t easy to find.
  • Unless Greg Popovich tries to go 5-on-1 tonight, I’d bet good money that DeMar DeRozan makes history. The Chicago Bulls’ All-Star is set to crack the 20,000-point threshold, which would make him just the 50th player in NBA history to do so. While it’s a testament to DeRozan’s impressive longevity, it’s even more indicative of his consistency. The veteran forward is in a position to average at least 20 points per game in 10-straight seasons. In the most recent four years, he’s done it while also shooting 51.0 percent from downtown. When we talk about the league’s most dominant scorers of the past decade, he simply has to be mentioned early.
  • The sports gods work in mysterious ways. DeRozan fell short of his season average on Wednesday against the Pacers by 7 points, which also happens to be the exact amount he needs to pass the historic milestone. It was his lowest-scoring effort of the year, but it put him in a position to celebrate the honor in a place that helped him become the wise veteran we see today. While San Antonio may not have represented DeRozan’s most successful years, he has credited his time alongside Popovich for developing his playmaking and all-around basketball IQ. San Antonio is where DeRozan went from an ultra-athlete and high-volume scorer to a savvy shot-creator with elite command of the game.
  • The Chicago Bulls listed Zach LaVine as “questionable” for tonight on Thursday. Considering it’s the front end of a back-to-back, I have to imagine he’ll sit this one out, but we’ll let you know for sure once the official word drops.
  • Speaking of back-to-back sets, I’m incredibly annoyed that the Bulls have already had to play the Cavaliers and 76ers on zero rest. The only good news this time around is that Philly will also have to take the floor tonight against a tough Raptors team. But the schedule makers still did LaVine and Co. no favors! I mean, just go look at how easily some of the Bulls’ stiffest competitors have started things off (Hawks saw Rockets, Magic, Hornets, and Pistons, while the Knicks got Grizzlies, Pistons, Magic, and Hornets … bogus!).
  • I stand by this take. As much as I like Mathurin as a player, this was unnecessary and a bit reckless. I don’t care if it was to make a statement against his former teammate or whatever, it’s pretty much an unwritten rule that you let the clock expire. If the Bulls aren’t running up the score, there is no need for you to hunt a cheap bucket.
  • Help peer pressure Boss Brett into buying me a flight to Paris:
  • Truly a one of a kind talent:
  • Some words on the Bulls’ impressive bench unit …
  • This could be big for the Bears …
  • That attendance sucks?

Author: Elias Schuster

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