According to Billy Donovan, Bulls players had a discussion in the locker room following their blowout loss. Donovan also stated that he was asked to leave after entering the locker room.
Nikola Vucevic would describe the discussion as “much needed.”

The Chicago Bulls got off to a horrendous start to their 2023-24 NBA season. The Bulls fell 124-104 against the Thunder at home. The Thunder led by six at halftime, but the Bulls came out of the locker room deflated in the second half. OKC would end up routing the Bulls, leading to a blowout loss. The team showed no signs of fight in the second half.

Chicago Bulls' Nikola Vucevic in a discussion with Billy Donovan

Vucevic’s Frustrations

Before the first half ended, Vucevic was seen being frustrated with Billy Donovan on the bench. Vucevic played great in the first half, looking dominant in the paint. Vucevic consistently used his size to get an advantage at the rim over defenders, but the Bulls stopped feeding him. There were plenty of times when Vucevic had a defender sealed off, but his teammates failed to get him the ball. Vucevic would end the game with just eight shot attempts. It is a volume much too low for someone who should be a focal point of the Chicago Bulls offense. Vucevic was rightfully frustrated, and this needs to be addressed before the Bulls face the Raptors on Friday night.

Chicago’s Offensive Woes Continue

The Chicago Bulls finally attempted a high volume of 3-point shots but at an abysmal efficiency. The Bulls shot 28.6% from long range in the loss. The lone bright spot from behind the arch was Torrey Craig, who shot 75% on just four attempts. If Craig continues to knock down his three-point shots, he needs to be receiving more volume.

As for the rest of the roster, efficiency was awful. Coby White shot 4 for 14 from the field, Lavine 4 for 16, DeRozan 9 for 20, and Patrick Williams 4 for 10. Vucevic was the lone man in the starting lineup who shot efficiently (5 for 8). Vucevic was the lone efficient starter but received the least amount of volume. The Bulls need to feed the ball to Vucevic, who should be in the top 3 in shots attempted on the Bulls roster most nights.

The Players-Only Meeting

The exact discussions during the Bulls player’s meeting remain unknown. However, it’s safe to assume nobody was happy about the team’s performance. Zach LaVine stated, “I don’t think we played with enough heart” postgame. “It’s maybe one of the first times since I’ve been here that it was like this and it was really needed,” Nikola Vucevic said. It sounds like the players-only meeting was a much-needed discussion for the roster. Hopefully, the Bulls players had the opportunity to express their frustrations and gain clarity on how to enhance their performance.

The Chicago Bulls remain home, where they will take on the Raptors Friday night. Whether or not the player’s meeting will impact the team’s performance remains to be seen.

Photo: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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