The Chicago Bulls just suffered a blow that’s going to derail their scorching start.
The Chicago Bulls have been on a tear of late, but they just suffered an untimely COVID-19 blow that threatens to derail their scorching start. The team has lost four straight games and will be without star player Jimmy Butler for the foreseeable future. Read more in detail here: how are the chicago bulls doing.
The fresh new appearance The Chicago Bulls had a great start to the 2021-22 season. The Bulls are 8-3 through their first 11 games and now sit in second place in the Eastern Conference after making one of the largest offseason moves in the NBA.
However, when starting center Nikola Vucevic tested positive for COVID-19 and entered the NBA’s health and safety procedures on Thursday, the team’s good start may come to an end.
The Bulls have already established themselves as championship contenders.
In the last ten years, the Bulls haven’t made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. After missing the playoffs in each of the previous four seasons due to dropping records, they decided to go all-in this summer.
To complement Vucevic and Zach LaVine, Chicago added DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, and a few additional bench players this summer. The Bulls were an intriguing team to watch heading into the season, but they’re already outperforming expectations.
The Bulls are 8-3 through 11 games, allowing just 102.4 points per game, which is the fifth-best number in the NBA. Their net rating of +7.4 is also fourth in the league.
In their previous two games, the Bulls thrashed the Eastern Conference’s favored Brooklyn Nets and breezed over the Dallas Mavericks. For the Bulls, everything is falling into place, but COVID-19 is attempting to halt their progress.
Bulls are afflicted at an inopportune moment. Nikola Vucevic suffers a COVID-19 blow.
Nikola Vucevic of the Chicago Bulls reacts against the Detroit Pistons | Nic Antaya/Getty Images
This season, Vucevic hasn’t performed at his normal level. While shooting a career-low 39.5 percent from the field and just 26.7 percent from three, the All-Star center is averaging 13.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. Despite his scoring troubles, he’s been an important part of Chicago’s tenacious defense, and he’s coming off one of his finest games of the season, with 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Mavs.
Vucevic, on the other hand, will be watching the next few games from his home, as the center was placed under the NBA’s health and safety procedures on Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19, as reported by K.C. NBC Sports Chicago’s Johnson.
Vucevic will be suspended for the next ten days or until he passes two drug tests in a 24-hour period.
How will Chicago compensate for the loss of Vucevic?
The Bulls have been fully immunized, according to NBC Sports Chicago.
Joel Embiid, who tested positive for COVID-19 after the second encounter, was guarded by Vucevic for two games. https://t.co/x0FqAVM6Ug
November 11, 2021 — K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop)
This year, the Bulls don’t have a lot of depth at center. They only have three players on the roster who are taller than 6-foot-7, and Vucevic has spent the most of his time at the center position so far. The difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that Patrick Williams will be absent for at least four months owing to a wrist injury.
For the next three games, backup center Tony Bradley will most likely replace Vucevic in the starting lineup. In eight games, he’s averaged barely 10 minutes per game and hasn’t made much of an attacking impact. LaVine, DeRozan, and Ball will have to compensate for Vucevic’s absence in the scoring column.
However, with Anthony Davis, Jusuf Nurkic, and Nikola Jokic on the schedule over the next ten days, the Bulls will have to play total team defense if they want to avoid being pounded in the paint.
Basketball Reference provided all stats.
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The Chicago Bulls have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA so far this season, and they’ve done it without their best player. Unfortunately for them, that player is now out with a COVID-19 blow. The team has already suffered an untimely blow to their scorching start, and it’s unclear how long Jimmy Butler will be sidelined. Reference: chicago bulls ranking.
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