As the saying goes, “it ain’t over until the fat lady sings”. In the Chicago Bulls’ case, the “fat lady” may be Nikola Vucevic.
“It doesn’t really depend on us anymore,” Vučević told Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “I mean, it does. We have to win. But we’re depending on the people in front of us, on how they do. So it’s hard to say after 65 games we didn’t figure it out. It’s tough to believe that something’s just going to (click) like that. We’ll see. We’re going to keep fighting, keep hoping something happens. But it’s obvious we’ve put ourselves in a very difficult spot now.”
The Bulls are 3-7 in their last 10 outings and now find themselves, 12th in the Eastern Conference; 1.5 games behind the Washington Wizards for the 10-seed and a spot in the Play-In Tournament.
They also lost the tie-breaker with the Indiana Pacers due to the loss on Sunday.
Vucevic had a chance to win the game on the final play with a three but missed. He finished the loss with 12 points, nine rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks.
“We were trying to get Zach [LaVine] and DeMar [DeRozan] open but they kind of top-blocked them,” Vučević said in a video shared on Twitter by Mayberry. “I got a decent look – it was a bit of a tough shot, turning around. It was straight on. Just came up short a little bit. You can’t put yourself into that position, to rely on a last-second shot like that. We got a good look out of it. But we should have done better throughout the game.”
Bulls shot 60.8% and lost.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 5, 2023
Vucevic’s thoughts about the season are an admission of what has been apparent.
Executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas banked on the eventual return of starting point guard Lonzo Ball to be the magic elixir for a trio of offense-first stars who lack defensive chops or the ability to function as the hubs their respective salaries would suggest they need to be.
Ball was finally officially shut down for the season on February 21 – over one year since he last took the floor.
The Bulls tried to bide their time with 36-year-old Goran Dragic mixed in with incumbent options Alex Caruso, Ayo …read more