It’s Tuesday afternoon at about 1:00 p.m. CDT as this article is being written. The Chicago Bulls play game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs in about 28 hours. As I sit here and look at Bulls Twitter, I see the same argument taking place over and over again. It’s the argument that Nikola Vucevic cost the Chicago Bulls the first game of this playoff series.
I can go through and add all the tweets that are calling the big man out to this article, but I won’t. I’d rather not call someone out on their opinion. Rather, I’d ask, “Do you really think that loss falls solely on him?” The short answer is it doesn’t.
Above are the stats from the Bulls’ “Big Three” from game one against the Milwaukee Bucks. Does anything look similar there? Oh yeah, that’s it. Every one of the “stars” played absolutely terrible. Out of the three of them, one led a charge in the third quarter and helped the Bulls tie the game and take a short-lived lead. Who did that you ask? Nikola Vucevic.
The Cold Hard Facts
In fact, Vucevic shot better from the floor and had more points than Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Though, the masses are still holding Vucevic accountable for his poor play in the loss. Where is that same energy for DeRozan and LaVine? I know I am not the only one who knows those guys need to be better for the Bulls to have an actual shot of winning.
Now, I am not saying Vucevic isn’t at fault for his poor performance here. What I am saying is the team as a whole performed poorly, which is why they lost. That should be the narrative here. DeRozan himself was upset with his performance and the whole team’s performance. It isn’t easy to win a basketball game when the team shoots 32% from the field and 18% from downtown.
So, I ask for everyone to take a step back and remember, that you win as a team and lose as a team. It’s that simple. Looking for a scapegoat to blame this loss on is absolutely ludicrous to me when everyone struggled. Hope for adjustments and hope that the “star” players come out Wednesday night with the confidence to get the job done instead of slamming one particular player. Go Bulls.
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