Bulls center Nikola Vucevic is confident he’ll work his way out of a slump, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. Vucevic most recently shot 3-of-15 in a loss against Miami, struggling to make shots inside the paint, in the mid-range areas, and behind the arc.
“I got some post-up and hook shots that I’ve made a career of, and nothing was falling for me,’’ he explained. “I look at all the games, and really I don’t have an explanation of what’s going on with my shot. It’s something I was always very consistent with and really good at my whole career – I was always a 50% shooter – so I don’t know.
“It’s just very disappointing for me because I’m trying to just be there for my team and do what I need to try and help us win, and I’m not doing that right now. I’m coming up short for my teammates and that’s the most frustrating part. When you lose and you don’t play well, you feel like it’s even more of your responsibility.’’
The Bulls are currently missing nine players due to health and safety protocols, meaning they badly need Vucevic’s production. The team acquired him and Al-Farouq Aminu (now a free agent) from Orlando last season, giving up Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter and two first-round picks.
There’s more from the Central Division:
- Bulls coach Billy Donovan refuses to use COVID as an excuse, K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago writes. “We’re not the only team dealing with this,” Donovan said. While Chicago isn’t the only team dealing with an outbreak, the Bulls have certainly been hit the hardest. Nevertheless, the club has maintained a .500 record in its last 10 games and is currently 17-10.
- The Pistons called up Jamorko Pickett and Isaiah Livers from their G League affiliate on Sunday, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com tweets. The decision was made shortly after the team announced that Jerami Grant would miss at least six weeks with a thumb injury.
- Lauri Markkanen‘s obligation to serve in the Finland military isn’t expected to impact his NBA availability, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype writes. Markkanen has started in 19 games for the Cavaliers, who own the fifth-best record in the East at 16-12.