The Chicago Bulls were blown out 118-92 on Saturday night in South Beach against the Miami Heat who were playing without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
Yes, the Bulls are extremely shorthanded because of the seven players in health and safety protocols. However, Chicago had Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball and Nikola Vucevic healthy and in uniform, but were still run out of the building.
LaVine did everything in his power to will his team to victory scoring 33 points on 11-for-20 shooting while sinking 7 of the 11 threes he attempted. He also had 7 rebounds and 4 assists.
The other supposed All-Star in the Bulls lineup didn’t come close to that level of production. Vucevic continues to be a disappointment for the Bulls as he turned in what some called the worst performance of his Chicago tenure against Heat team playing without Adebayo.
Matched up with Dewayne Dedmon, Vucevic was severely outplayed. Vucevic finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds. He shot 3-for-15 from the field and 1-for-4 from three-point range. It was literally painful to watch how bad he played.
Bulls Twitter was abuzz with Vucevic criticism. If I included the tweets about the Bulls center that sprung from non-verified users, we’d need a parental advisory sticker on this article.
Instead, let’s keep it PG and go with the reactions of the folks who have a little more at stake with each tweet.
Twitter Reacts to Nikola Vucevic’s Horrible Performance
In the first quarter, 670 The Score’s Cody Westerlund saw the rain cloud forming over Vucevic’s head as he was getting outplayed by Dedmon early.
NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson took the words out of many Bulls fans’ mouths with this simple, but on-point assessment as the Heat’s veteran center validated any tweet that might have read: “Dedmon > Vucevic.”
The Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley has been watching Bulls Nation turn on Vucevic, and he likened it to another of the Windy City’s favorite whipping boys–only Vooch seems more worthy of the criticism.
On queue, Joshua Siegel of Politico echoes my sentiments in his response to Cowley.
Bawl Sports and Locked on Bulls co-host Big DAVE calls Vucevic out for “getting done up by Dedmon.”
CBS Sports’ Matt Zahn calls Vucevic’s “brutal” performance possibly his “worst game” of the season.
In the postgame tweet that puts everything into perspective, Westerlund points out Dedmon doubling Vucevic’s scoring output while also besting him in rebounds by three. Looking for perspective? For Vucevic’s career, he averages 16.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Dedmon averages 6.4 and 6. We repeat: this can’t happen.
How Bad Has Nikola Vucevic Been This Season?
Bulls fans wish this game from Vucevic was an aberration. Unfortunately, the big man has been disappointing this season more often than not.
Before the current season, but since the 2018-19 campaign, Vucevic has averaged 21.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and shot 37% from three-point range. So far this season, Vucevic has hit all three of these marks in just one game this year. It was 30-point, 14-rebound, 6-for-6 three-point-shooting performance against the Charlotte Hornets on November 29. The Bulls won that game 133-119.
Vucevic has scored 21 points or more just three times in 20 contests. He’s made 37% or better on three attempts 5 times, and he has eclipsed the 11-rebound mark just 9 times in 20 attempts.
To say the season has been disappointing for Vucevic is an understatement. There is a belief that if the Bulls can ever get consistent play from their starting center, they will be even better than they have been (17-10).
However, at this point, Bulls fans aren’t crazy to wonder if that’s even realistic.
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