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Tristan Thompson says he’s challenging Nikola Vucevic to be the ‘best big in the series’ vs. the Milwaukee Bucks

Nikola Vucevic Chicago Bulls
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks will battle one another in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs. The series is set to start on Sunday evening.

There are many good players on both teams, and Bulls big man Tristan Thompson recently said that he challenged Nikola Vucevic to be the “best big in the series.”

That certainly seems like a tall ask, especially since Giannis Antetokounmpo plays for the Bucks.

Vucevic is definitely going to need to play well if the Bulls want to make it past the defending champions. During the 2021-22 regular season, Vucevic averaged 17.6 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. He helped lead the Bulls to a 46-36 record.

The Bulls started the regular season off very well before faltering late and falling to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Many people believe they will take an early exit in the playoffs. Vucevic and the Bulls are surely hoping to prove the doubters wrong.

The two-time All-Star last played in the playoffs during the 2019-20 season with the Orlando Magic. In five games during the 2020 playoffs, Vucevic showed out in a major way, averaging 28.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from beyond the arc.

He’s definitely hoping to replicate those numbers this time around.

Given that they are in the same division, the Bulls and Bucks faced off against each other a total of four times during the regular season. Milwaukee came out on top in all four of those contests.

Only time will tell if Thompson has motivated Vucevic enough to lead the Bulls into the second round of the playoffs.


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