John Harding Lucas III was constantly signed and waived and signed again by the Chicago Bulls. As one of the backup point guards for the Bulls, Lucas spent the 2010-11 season overshadowed by Rose. With Derrick starting every game that season, Lucas rarely if at all, dressed or played any games.
When the short 2011-12 NBA season underway, it looked as if Lucas would suffer the same fate again. Lucas however still remained positive even when he didn’t play. With Watson and Rose injured multiple times, Lucas would finally logged a lot of minutes, something he’s wanted since he first signed with the Bulls. With the absence of Rose and Watson, Lucas had to step up, and that’s exactly what he did. During the regular season, Lucas played for 49 games, and played for an average 14.8 minutes, scoring an average 7.5 points per game.
Before the All-Star break, Lucas played great. On January 11th 2012, Lucas finally got his big break. He finally got his first NBA start and led the Bulls over a 78-64 win over the Washington Wizards with 25 points, a career high for Lucas.
However Lucas really stepped it up after the all-star break. With a Rose-less team, Lucas was called upon to start in a game against the Miami Heat. Lucas played excellent that game as he scored 24 points, leading them to victory with a final score of 106-102 at home.
Some may argue when Lucas’ best game was this season, but another game where he played superb was on March 21st against the Toronto Raptors. With a Rose-less Bulls team again, and the Bulls trailing in the 3rd, it looked as if my hometown Raptors would beat the Bulls. What a nightmare that would have been (no offence Raptors fans), Lucas just came out of nowhere and scored all of his 13 points in the 4th quarter.
Finally another game were Lucas step it up after the all-star break, came in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on April 1st 2012. Although the Bulls would lose that game to a final score of 92-78, John Lucas played for 29 minutes, got 4 rebounds and 19 points.
Lucas had a great second season with the Bulls. Nobody thought Rose wouldn’t play for so many games, but injuries happen. Fortunately, this was John Lucas time to shine. Lucas went from never dressing for a game, sitting on the bench to starting for the first time ever and dropping many shots. While John Lucas many not be or ever be on the same level as Rose, I know he has a lot capabilities. I’m sure many people saw what he’s capable of when he played this season and I’m sure Thibodeau is more confident in him now.
In regards to the game against Toronto, as much as I like my home Raptors, I love my Bulls more and quiet frankly it would have been rather embarrassing if the the number one seeded Bulls lost to the Raptors. While Lucas may sometimes crack under pressure ( in games 3, 4 and 5 against the Philadelphia 76ers in the playoffs) I know he’s a great player offensively but he just keeps getting out-shined a lot. With Rose and Deng possibly out for a couple months next season, Lucas’ contract for next season is not guaranteed. I hope the Bulls head office decides to pick it up and if they do, I hope Thibodeau plays John Lucas more so he can hopefully start more games next season.
I know Lucas is capable of a lot more he just keeps getting overshadowed.
Final Grade: B