Nikola Vucevic is making NBA history for all the wrong reasons

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat
Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

After an embarrassing loss to the Detroit Pistons earlier in the week, the Chicago Bulls needed to bounce back and make a big statement against the surging Cleveland Cavaliers in their next game. Fortunately, Bulls center Nikola Vucevic came to play, dropping 23 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in a closely-contested double-overtime victory.

Although he would eventually foul out with 44 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, Vucevic's presence helped stabilize this team when they needed him most. Andre Drummond picked up where he left off as anyone could, but relying on him on a nightly basis is something Chicago should try to avoid if at all possible.

The Bulls almost certainly wouldn't have 28 wins and still be firmly entrenched in the postseason race if they didn't have Vucevic anchoring the team at center. He's been a consistent presence in the low post for the Bulls for three and a half seasons now. He's been so consistent that he's potentially in line to average the same stat line (or very close to it) for three seasons in a row.

And yet, Vucevic still isn't a player that the Bulls can truly rely on when it matters most. He may be consistent, but he's hardly dependable. We saw that when he fouled out against the Cavs and took his frustration out on a bunch of towels, and we saw it again when Vucevic was ejected for a frustration foul he committed in the fourth quarter of a losing effort against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Nikola Vucevic is letting the Bulls down with his historically poor three-point shooting performance this season.

But Vucevic's overly physical and emotional antics aren't the biggest way he's been hurting the Bulls as of late. No, it's instead his horrendous shooting that has been digging a six-foot deep hole for Chicago's postseason aspirations.

Shooting a shockingly poor 27.3% from beyond the arc, Vucevic is the not-so-proud of the worst three-point shooting percentage among all qualified players in the NBA. The next worst shooter — Utah's Jordan Clarkson — is a whole 2.2% better.

This means Vooch would have to hit 8 consecutive three-point attempts in a row just to be as good as the next-worst shooter in the NBA. Needless to say, this is a big step backward for the big man after drilling 34.9% of his long-range attempts just one year ago.

Don't be mistaken, this isn't just a little shooting slump. In fact, it's one of the worst shooting performances we've ever seen before in the entire history of the NBA. Vucevic currently holds the worst three-point percentage among qualified players of the last 20 years, dating back to when Antoine Walker shot 26.9% from three for the Mavericks back in 2003-04.

At least Walker was one year removed from two consecutive All-Star appearances when he hit his slump, and unlike Vucevic, wasn't quite as trigger-happy. No player in NBA history has ever converted threes at a lower rate than Vucevic while matching his sample size of four or more attempts per game.

There are 22 games left to play on the Bulls' schedule, so it's still plausible that Vooch could bounce back and get his shooting percentage back up high enough to avoid making history in the worst way possible. After what we've seen from him so far this season, however, perhaps it would be an ill-advised decision for Vucevic to waste any more possessions bricking threes than he already has.