Goran Dragic believes teammate Nikola Vucevic is being unfairly blamed for the Bulls‘ disappointing season, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Vucevic isn’t putting up the numbers that he did in Orlando before Chicago acquired him in a 2021 trade, but Dragic believes it’s because the big man is on a team with more scorers.
Dragic compares the situation with the time he spent in Miami with Chris Bosh, who was being criticized by fans for his decreased production, even though he adjusted his game to help the Heat win two titles.
“When you have to do what Chris or Vooch is doing, it’s not possible to live up to previous expectations,’’ Dragic said. “There’s only one ball and three guys that can score. Each guy can score in different ways from a different position. At the end of the day it should be just about winning. Miami conquered that. A guy like CB that sacrifices like that, that might be one of the biggest keys to them getting those championships.’’
There’s more from the Central Division:
- Bucks forward Joe Ingles put together his best game Friday since returning from an ACL tear, posting 14 points, five rebounds and 10 assists in a win over Minnesota, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic. The performance in his sixth game back made Ingles feel like all the rehab work was worth it. “I would have gone home very happy tonight if we won, especially after the last few games, but just to feel a bit more like myself, getting up the minutes a little more from what I’ve been able to play,” he said. “In the end, you’re helping these guys out to win a game. That’s what I’m here to do — to help create and playmake for these guys and make shots when I can and be annoying on defense and that’s just what I try (to do). Tonight was probably the most natural I felt out there.”
- After the Pacers pulled out a one-point win over the Clippers on Saturday afternoon, Tyrese Haliburton suggested that the team has benefited from adversity, tweets Dustin Dopirak of The Indianapolis Star. “Losing,” Haliburton responded when asked what has made Indiana better at closing out games. “I think as a young team you need that.”
- The Pistons‘ only appearance on TNT this season has been taken away, according to Mike Curtis of The Detroit News. A January 10 contest against the Sixers has been replaced by a Thunder-Heat matchup that night. The Pistons’ league-worst record and the loss of Cade Cunningham has made the team less attractive for national television, notes Curtis, who adds that Detroit will still appear on NBA TV on January 19 and March 23.
11 thoughts on “Central Notes: Dragic, Vucevic, Ingles, Haliburton, Pistons”
Vooch is 17-10-3 and shooting 38 percent from three. He might not be the solution, but he def isn’t the problem.
I agree hes not the main issue but they need a defensive C or a bigger PF. They have enough scoring with dd and lavine that having vooch is kind of redundant. Trading him for a solid defensive 4 or 5 would do wonders for the bulls.
It’s his defence that makes those numbers look small…
Even so, that’s more an indictment of the front office than the man himself. It’s not like they shouldn’t have seen the questionable fit defensively.
Bucks will be scary good once Middleton and Ingles get back to their old forms.
Dallas will be given an opportunity at some point before the trade deadline to acquire Vucevic. He will come cheap. A couple of 2nd rounders? They only need salary to match to send back.
Mark from Cuba is dumb enough to go for it…
Luka needs good defenders around him as well as shooters… Vucevic isn’t a good fit because he isn’t able to be the backbone of a defence…
They need someone who can do both, a Brook Lopez but younger type…
The NBA could of used the Hayes incident as a reason for taking the Pistons off the air…
But ratings is an easy out…
Agreed. That was my first thought.
Vucevic isn’t a rim protector, but he’s certainly NOT a negative defensively. Career-wise, he’s been a positive on that end, and neither optics nor stats suggest any change. I’ve seen CHI many times this year, and he wouldn’t even be a footnote in a statement on their defensive issues – other than as a detail in the footnote on the demoralizing impact of supposed stars playing spectator defense.
I also doubt CHI would trade him for scraps and expirings, even in a full blowup. Anyway, a blowup starts with DDR or LaVine. Play it out.
Another trade theory…
Lakers: CP3 and DD
Bulls: AD, Crowder, Nunn and a first (Suns)
Suns: Lonzo Ball and Pat Will
Bulls then also make 2 other trades
1. Dragic, DJJ and Vuce for Christian Wood, Davis Bertans and a first round pick.
2. Alex Caruso and a second for James Wiseman
Then make Green, DJJ and White all available for trade aswell.
Bulls line up
Ayo LaVine Crowder AD Wiseman
Nunn Terry DJJ Bertans Bradley
Come the offseason bring back Derrick Rose.
Bulls fans happy today we Rose back, real good feel with he and AD returning to Chicago and leading their team. LaVine gets more freedom to do this thing without DD. Wiseman would be a real steal and he and Ayo would be the future. Not to mention the 2 first round picks from Phoenix and Dallas. Might not be a team which gets better results next season but represents growth and direction while also keeping the fans happy and being with a chance of making the playoffs.
For LA, they tank shut down the stars and tank the remainder on the season. Russ’s deal will expire, Draymond will opt out and join up with them. Creating a super (old) team with CP3 DD Bron Green and then some centre. Probably below average defence cause of age but very very high IQ team, a lot of great passers will make for a good offence. A team no one would want to face in the playoffs but not the greatest regular season team, great way for Bron to spend his last year with LA.
Suns move off CP3 who is old and deal has multiple years left. Lonzo is bigger, taller, stronger and cheaper. Great fit both on and off the court with those guys. Is good defensively, great passer, improved outside shooter, and should do really well on this side. Not to mention Pat Will for Crowder is a fantastic finish to that saga. Pat would also fit in well especially on the court with his shooting and defence.
Dallas gets two good euro players for a playoff run and ships out Bertans terrible deal at the cost of a first round pick.
Luka Hardaway Bullock DFS Vuce
Dragic Dinwiddie DJJ Kleber and Powell
Pinson Hardy McGee (good locker room)
Every teams a winner