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“It sucks, man. Obviously just wishing for his health, first off, for him and his family” - Zach LaVine comments on the absence of Nikola Vucevic due to health and safety protocols

Memphis Grizzlies vs Chicago Bulls
Memphis Grizzlies vs Chicago Bulls
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Ananth.Narasimman

The Chicago Bulls suffered a huge loss, as star center Nikola Vucevic was put in the league's health and safety protocols after testing positive for COVID-19.

Zach LaVine has said that it is a big blow to the team, wishing Vucevic good health. LaVine knows what it feels like to miss games due to the virus. He saw the Bulls' play-in chances crumble last season after he missed game time after testing positive.

Vucevic is a crucial piece in the Bulls rotation, and is the only reliable center capable of going up against the likes of Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic. Vucevic is now slated to miss the Denver Nuggets and the LA Lakers games, whom the Bulls meet in the next four games. With every game counting in a stacked Eastern Conference, the Bulls will hope the center makes a quick recovery.

All-Star and Bulls cornerstone Zach LaVine spoke about how crucial Nikola Vucevic's loss is to the franchise. He said that they would now have to battle and work things out until Vucevic returns. He added that the timing was unfortunate, as Vucevic was getting his rhythm back during the previous game. Here's what he said about Vucevic, in an interview with NBC Sports' KC Johnson:

“It sucks, man. Obviously just wishing for his health, first off, for him and his family, and then we’re just going to have to battle and work this out without him until he gets back. Big blow, obviously. He’s one of the main pieces of our team. I just feel like that last game he was getting his rhythm back and everything like that. So it just sucks.”
Zach LaVine said the Bulls are being vigilant with mask-wearing and are undergoing testing as they hope to avoid COVID-19 spread and brace for a stretch without Nikola Vucevic.For @NBCSChicago: nbcsports.com/chicago/bulls/…

Nikola Vucevic has averaged 13.6 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 0.9 blocks this season. These stats don't stand out, but the center brings a lot more to the team that does not reflect in the box score. He does all the dirty work, such as setting up hard screens to free up shooters. The Bulls will hope Vucevic comes back healthy, as he is a vital cog in their plans.


Can Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic guide the Chicago Bulls to a deep postseason run?

Chicago Bulls vs Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls vs Detroit Pistons

The Chicago Bulls have come out of the gates all guns blazing this season. They have dominated from the jump, and are proving to be a dark-horse contender. The Bulls are currently in second place with an impressive 8-3 record in a stacked Eastern Conference. They are also in the top ten in both defensive and offensive ratings, showing their prowess at both ends.

Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine has picked up from where he left off last season. He has been in phenomenal form, averaging 25.9 points, 4.2 assists and 5.5 rebounds in 11 games. The addition of an elite playmaker like Lonzo Ball has had a huge impact on LaVine, as both have established a good connection early on in the season.

The Bulls have the roster, mentality and capability to make noise in the East. But to beat behemoths like the Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets, the likes of DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic will have to turn things up a notch.

The Chicago Bulls should get the job done at the offensive end. But they'll have to sustain their defensive intensity to have a chance of making the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.


Also Read: How much do NBA referees make?


Edited by Bhargav
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