Vucevic Talks Ejection, Bench Mob Takes Over, Pat Bev Revenge Game, and Other Bulls Bullets
I used to be a camp counselor when I was in high school. As much as I enjoyed it, the biggest thing I learned during those years was that some kids tend to be really freakin’ annoying.
More specifically, some kids get even more annoying in a group setting. They simply don’t feel like they’re getting enough attention, so they proceed to do whatever they can to receive that attention.
I remember one kid, in particular, who used to sing his little heart out whenever he felt like we weren’t aware enough of his presence. He would demand that he sing us a song and go on to sing that song for a ridiculously long amount of time. If we looked away for even a second, he would start over. It was cute on Tuesday and absurdly annoying by Thursday.
Anyway, the more I watch the NBA, the more I wonder if that kid grew up to be an NBA referee. Whenever they feel like they aren’t receiving attention, they’ll demand it. And that’s exactly what they did in the middle of a great first half last night.
- I truly can’t believe the refs called those double technicals against Nikola Vucevic. Look, should the guy have stopped yapping after the first T? Sure. But the officials also need to learn to let it go. If Vucevic didn’t get in anyone’s grill or get physical, there isn’t any reason for him to be thrown out of the contest. Decisions like this can completely alter the course of the game, which is something the refs should be particularly conscious of at this critical time in the regular season.
- Vucevic has always come off like a great dude, so I wasn’t at all surprised that he took full responsibility for the ejection after the game. But, yeah, I don’t think he needed to.
“Obviously, it was a bad decision by me to react the way that I did. In a game that is as important as it is for us, I got to be better controlling emotion in the moment,” Vucevic told reports (h/t The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry). “Agree, disagree with the call, whatever, I got to be better. My mistake. I’m just glad my teammates came through and won the game for us. Makes me feel less bad about myself.”
- Billy Donovan also stated that Vucevic should have better control of his emotions in that situation, but that doesn’t mean he thought the starting center should have been tossed. When discussing the situation in his postgame press conference, he delivered what might be his best line since joining the franchise:
“I was surprised on a couple of things,” Donovan said. “One, I don’t know how they can T him up when he’s talking Serbian. I think he may have been asking them if they wanted to go out to dinner that night. Possibly.”
- Fortunately, the ejection didn’t end up mattering. And the biggest reason why is what the second unit was able to accomplish. The Bulls’ bench dropped 48 points and grabbed over half of the team’s rebounds. Coby White led the way with 13 points, while Andre Drummond added 12 points in relief of Vucevic.
- Whether it be Patrick Williams denying an entry pass to LeBron James, White taking the charge on Austin Reaves, Derrick Jones Jr. knocking down two huge 3s, or Ayo Dosunmu dishing 4 assists, the bench put together an incredible well-rounded performance. It was this unit that ultimately gave the Bulls a double-digit lead that they would grasp for the majority of the game. I still worry about the lack of reliable shooting on this roster, but there is a level of defensive energy and youthful exuberance on the bench that has been pivotal during this 10-5 stretch. I’ll be curious to see if they can keep it up against a pretty deep Clippers crew tonight.
- Speaking of defensive energy, I put together a little thread on Twitter about just that. There has just been an incredible improvement in the Bulls’ ability to read opposing offenses. Players are where they need to be well ahead of time and it’s led to some big stops and well-timed turnovers.
- Active hands have also become a team-wide identity for this group. In the month of March, they are averaging the second-most steals per game and have scored the fourth-most points off turnovers.
- Why do I have a feeling that the “LeBron James of feet” is LeBron James?
- How LeBron James’ foot feels after last night’s game will be something to watch over the next two days. The Bulls play the Lakers at the United Center on Wednesday.
- Speaking of which, how do we make this happen?
- Paige Spiranac Fantasy Golf Pool
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- Patrick Beverley put together a decent revenge game. The former Laker had 10 points with 5 assists and 4 rebounds in his return to LA. He didn’t have any specifically insane highlights, but that didn’t stop him from acting like it!
- Pat Bev = LeBron stopper
- Beverley said his Charmin Tweet was nothing more than a coincidence. Are you buying it?
- Stacey King is the GOAT.
- OH. BOY.
- You tell me, Tab!