Chicago Bulls center Nikola Vucevic had 16 points, 20 rebounds, and three steals on 8-14 shooting in 33 minutes of playing time on Wednesday night in a big win over the Atlanta Hawks. According to StatMuse, he joined Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler as the only Bulls players with 20+ rebounds in less than 35 minutes of court time since Dennis Rodman was doing so on a nightly basis in the 1990s.
Nikola Vucevic tonight:
in 33 MINS
He joins Joakim Noah and Tyson Chandler as the only Bulls players with 20+ rebounds in fewer than 35 minutes since the Dennis Rodman era. pic.twitter.com/zOdfo2iSNK
— StatMuse (@statmuse) December 30, 2021
For the season, Vucevic is averaging 15.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game. Those are all on par with the career averages for one of the most underrated players in the NBA. The only thing that Vucevic has struggled at in 2021 is his field goal percentage (.420), which is down a bit from his career average (.460.)
That is nitpicking, though, and Vucevic will gladly trade the lower field goal percentage for the wins that he hasn't had so far in his career. In playing for an ever rebuilding Magic team at the beginning of his career, Vucevic was a part of many losses and losing seasons. Now, his Bulls are 21-10 and in first place of the Eastern Conference‘s Central division. Chicago also has the second-best record in the conference and the fifth-best in the entire league.
Up next for Vucevic and the Bulls is back-to-back matchups with Indiana Pacers and the Washington Wizards on New Year's Eve and then New Years Day. Both teams have been struggling recently so the Bulls are certainly licking their chops in anticipation. Who knows, maybe Vucevic will ring in the new year with another “Rodman-like” performance…stay tuned.