Saturday, April 20

Andre Drummond steps up in his 1st start for the short-handed Chicago Bulls, plus 3 takeaways from the 118-113 win

Andre Drummond thinks he still needs to be an NBA starter. On Tuesday versus the Atlanta Hawks, he got his very first chance to make that case in Chicago.

In 113 video games considering that signing with the Bulls, Drummond had actually specifically come off the bench. That’s due to the fact that beginning center Nikola Vučević had actually played every video game because period– up until Tuesday, when Vučević missed his very first video game considering that April 2022 with a groin injury. Drummond began in his location, his very first start as a Bull.

It was a defining moment for Drummond, who has actually been open about his desire to play more minutes.

“I’m doing what I can with the minutes I get,” Drummond informed the Tribune previously this month. “I’m simply reconciling it. For me it’s never ever simple. At the end of the day, I’ve got to look at the larger photo. Coach sees something that he thinks will work for the group to assist us win. I’m all for it. My task is to be as encouraging as possible for those guys who remain in the video game.”

Drummond went into Tuesday’s video game averaging 13.5 minutes, the third-fewest in the routine rotation ahead of just Julian Phillips and Dalen Terry. In spite of the sporadic court time, he was balancing 6.8 rebounds, 6.2 points and 0.4 blocks.

He made the beginning position his own Tuesday, leading the group with 24 points and 25 rebounds– his 45th profession video game with 20-plus points and rebounds. Drummond’s efficiency raised the Bulls on both sides of the court as they returned from a 12-point deficit to protect a 118-113 win.

Here are 3 other takeaways from the video game.

Bulls center Nikola Vučević runs upcourt versus the Hornets on Dec. 6, 2023, at the United. (Trent Sprague/Chicago Tribune)

The Bulls aren’t utilized to playing without Vučević. In the almost 3 years because he signed up with the Bulls, Vučević has actually missed out on just 13 video games, consisting of Tuesday’s. 7 of those lacks was because of a COVID-19 medical diagnosis in 2021. The last time he remained before Tuesday was April 10, 2022, when coach Billy Donovan sat the majority of the beginners for the last regular-season video game to get ready for the preliminary of the playoffs.

Ahead of his 82nd video game last season, Vučević kept in mind that being readily available for every single video game has actually been a point of pride throughout his profession. It likewise has actually been an essential aspect for the Bulls, who have actually taken advantage of the consistent schedule of veteran stars such as Vučević and DeMar DeRozan.

Vučević’s lack Tuesday was a reflection of a larger– and more worrying– style for the Bulls.

Donovan stated an MRI verified a stretched left groin for Vučević. The injury took place Saturday versus the Cleveland Cavaliers when he objected to a dunk by Max Strus, whose knee swung into Vučević’s groin.

Donovan stated Vučević went to the group centers Tuesday for treatment,

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