LaVine, DeRozan’s worst-case scenario comes true in Bulls win over Bucks

Following injuries to their lower bodies, Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan were sidelined in the recent heavy defeat against the Boston Celtics. Consequently, the Chicago Bulls opted to rest their star duo in the game against the Milwaukee Bucks. This decision came as their physical condition was strained, and their confidence took a hit. Sitting out against the formidable Bucks seemed the wise choice.

I was thrilled they did so.

Rather than succumbing to the competition against Giannis Antetokounmpo’s team, the Bulls exceeded expectations, displaying their finest teamwork of the season. They exhibited strong defensive rotations, executed well-planned coaching strategies, and effectively utilized the team’s youthful vigor and athleticism, notably by adopting a faster transition play style.

The result was an unexpected 120-113 overtime victory, a significant win for the Bulls, marking their sixth triumph of the season. Facing a highly skilled Bucks team with an impressive 13-5 record, this win was a noteworthy achievement, considering their championship pedigree and experience.

The Bulls proved they might be better off without Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan in last night’s win over Milwaukee.

Nikola Vucevic once again showcased his All-Star caliber performance, leading the Bulls to victory reminiscent of his impactful days in Orlando. He delivered an impressively well-rounded display, tallying 29 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists while shooting 11 for 21 from the field. Despite Vucevic’s stellar contribution, what truly stood out was the collective team effort throughout the game.


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As the final buzzer signaled Chicago’s narrow 7-point overtime win, eight Bulls players achieved double-digit scoring, and four players distributed five or more assists. The team operated as a cohesive unit, emphasizing ball movement to create better scoring opportunities, demonstrating trust in defensive switches, and witnessing well-timed and judicious substitutions by Billy Donovan. The absence of LaVine and DeRozan, typically heavy-minute players with defensive shortcomings, seemed to positively influence the team’s overall performance.

Donovan’s increased control over the roster without the star players, especially amidst rumors of his long-term stay in Chicago, bodes well for the team’s future. The game showcased the Bulls’ potential defensive prowess, reminiscent of their strong defensive standings in the previous NBA season when everyone fully committed. Despite Donovan’s track record of elevating struggling teams, his ability to guide star players to success has been inconsistent.

The outcome of the game against the Bucks might have been a wake-up call for LaVine and DeRozan, marking a potential low point. The Bulls appeared more cohesive without their dominating isolation-style play, which previously resulted in missed winnable games. This may impact potential trade interest in the All-Star duo, highlighting concerns about their ability to elevate their teammates’ performances.

Maintaining perspective after a single game is crucial, yet there’s an enticing possibility that this match could serve as a pivotal moment for the Bulls this season. Even in defeat, the team’s revamped up-tempo style presents an engaging and competitive side worth following.

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