Against the Golden State Warriors on January 15, Nikola Vucevic tied his career-high with 43 points and recorded his second-highest career game score as he added 13 boards, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Vucevic also has the longest active streak of double-doubles at 10 games in a row.
Vooch has been dialed in since the start of the new year, averaging 20.3 points, 13.4 rebounds, and adding 4.6 assists per game. He is doing all of this on 57.1/40.8/77.3 shooting splits, and this has been a product of the diversification of his game.
Too often Bulls fans have seen Vooch staying put on the perimeter and refusing to bully defenders in the paint. Over the past 3 weeks, however, we have seen the big man utilize his size down low, and this even opens up opportunities for him to shoot at all three levels. Vooch has been a player that has come up in trade discussions, but lately, he has proven to be an invaluable asset to the Bulls.
It’s no coincidence that the Chicago Bulls have surged up the standings as Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine continue to improve each month.
Over the past month, Zach LaVine is playing like the max player he should be. Before having his first down game in some time against the Pacers last night, Flight 8 was averaging 28 points on 48.6/40.8/84.5 shooting splits in January. LaVine has even scored the 8th most total points in the league dating back to December 23.
Earlier this month, LaVine strung together a 7-game streak of 25+ points and is also adding 4.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists to his game. This has been spurred on by Zach showing much more aggression by driving in the paint. He has taken a page out of DeMar DeRozan’s playbook and is utilizing pump fakes, shooting some more midrange jumpers, layups, and dunks rather than settling for contested threes.
If LaVine can continue this play, I feel confident that the Bulls can string together a win streak and move up in the Eastern Conference standings and back into playoff contention.