Nikola Vucevic tweets about ‘collective immunity’ of bulls
The Chicago Bulls are in the eye of a COVID-19 storm, but center Nikola Vucevic may have offered a silver lining to the current situation. After the Bulls lost Zach LaVine and Troy Brown Jr. on the health and safety protocol list (resulting in 9 Bulls missing due to testing positive for COVID), Vucevic took to Twitter with this message:
Vucevic theory may have even more legs now, given that Alize Johnson has tested positive for COVID-19 since the Veterans Center tweet.
Vucevic was not done with his light approach to the crisis. He tweeted this comedic challenge to the Detroit Pistons, which the Bulls are scheduled to play on Tuesday.
It’s official, the Bulls are in disarray and it’s obvious, the NBA is the only entity that can save them. If the Bulls have 8 players available, which they do, especially if Coby White can come back, they could still play.
However, there is a legitimate concern about the competitive integrity of any competition involving the Bulls at this point with nearly all of the team’s top players in health and safety protocols.
The Bulls’ likely starters for the Detroit Pistons
If the Bulls play, as the roster is currently put together, provided there are no more absences, Chicago would likely start this group:
PG – Lonzo Ball
SG – Coby White (if he can come back)
SF – Alex Caruso (if his hamstrings hold)
PF – Alfonzo McKinnie
C – Nikola Vucevic
The bench would be particularly sparse with Tony Bradley, Marko Simonovic, Devon Dotson and Tyler Cook as the only options available.
It’s the epitome of a tight crew, and it’s a squad that could easily drop a home game against the Pistons, who are currently the worst team in the NBA. Something about that just isn’t going to suit Bulls fans and even other neutral parts of the league.
Nikola Vucevic’s struggles are real
Vucevic had a run in health and safety protocols earlier this season. Vucevic entered on November 11 and he was absent until November 24. This was long before White’s absence triggered the current outbreak on December 2.
Vucevic is one of the few healthy players on the team to have achieved success in the NBA. He’s been an All-Star during his career, although he hasn’t played as such lately. Vucevic’s numbers across the board are down from his previous five seasons.
Since the 2018-19 season, Vucevic has averaged 21.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and he has converted 37% of his shots to three points. In the 2021-22 campaign, Vucevic is averaging 15.2 points, 10.5 rebounds and achieving 34% of his three.
His downfall has never been more apparent than in the Bulls’ last loss to the Miami Heat. The Heat were playing without world center Bam Adebayo. Veteran journeyman Dewayne Dedmon started in his stead.
Rather than feasting on a career save, Vucevic was severely dominated by Dedmon. Center Heat scored 20 points and took 12 rebounds against 10 points and 8 rebounds for Vucevic. Considering how poorly Vucevic played, a series of postponements and the prolonged break that would ensue might not be a bad thing for him or the team.
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