Chicago Bulls: Exhausted, missing Nikola Vucevic in blowout loss

Chicago Bulls (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
Chicago Bulls (David Banks-USA TODAY Sports) /

Monday night, the Chicago Bulls entered their second of a back-to-back at home as they took on the Indiana Pacers.

Going into the game, the Pacers were a mediocre 7-9, while the Bulls came in 12-5. However, these Pacers were much better than their record showed. Indiana is a good team. They had just gotten off to a slow start.

This night proved to be a get-right game for the Pacers, as they took advantage of a Bulls team which was simply out of gas.

Chicago was coming off a 6-game road trip out West and, again, was playing its second game in two days. The past few games have been hard-fought for the Bulls, too, as they have been short-handed.

Nikola Vucevic’s absence was most noticeable during the Chicago Bulls’ blowout loss on Monday.

Indiana ended up winning the game 109-77 in what was a route, essentially from start to finish.

The Bulls missed Nikola Vucevic dearly in this one, and also played without Alex Caruso due to a wrist injury. Vucevic should be back very soon as he comes through the other side of his time in the health and safety protocol. This will be a welcomed sight for Bulls fans.

The loss against Indiana was also a pretty clear picture of how the season could go if the Bulls don’t go out and find another big man to pair with Vucevic. The Pacers were a horrible matchup for this team, as Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis had their way on the boards.

The Pacers out-rebounded the Bulls 59 to 38 and also came up with a ridiculous 12 blocks in this game. Chicago could not do anything in the paint.

Although, it is fair to say that Chicago could not do anything, anywhere, all night long. The Bulls struggled to put the ball in the basket from start to finish, as they finished the night shooting a measly 36.5 percent overall and 21.4 percent from long distance.

We are used to seeing high scorers near or over 30 points, but DeMar DeRozan’s 18 points was a team-high for the Bulls. It was an ugly night on offense, to say the least.

But, even defensively, the Bulls looked lost. They looked tired. They couldn’t keep up with the swing passes from Indiana and simply couldn’t recover defensively, all night long.

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Fortunately, the Bulls now have a day off before the travel to take on the Houston Rockets Wednesday night — a surefire “get right” game for Billy Donovan and company.