Is John Lucas for Real?
After being a player that was barely on the Bulls roster last year, only playing two games, John Lucas III has taken the court by storm in his limited appearances this season. After averaging 3.0 points a game for his career in 62 career appearances, Lucas has raised his averages to 7 points and 2 assists this season in only 13 minutes a game.
The craziest part about John Lucas is that he has been the catalyst for four Bulls wins: against Washington, Miami, Orlando and Toronto. In the first three of these games he scored over 20 points, and in the last he scored 13 fourth quarter points to lead a 20-0 Bulls comeback.
Lucas’ minutes have come only because of the injuries to Derrick Rose AND C.J Watson. If those two players had been healthy, then Lucas would still only be a borderline NBA player, rather than a player who has won the best team in the NBA multiple games. Should John Lucas III actually receive a role on this team when they are fully healthy?
The answer in my opinion is no. Lucas has done his job very well, but his job has been to be a third string point guard. The biggest obstacle is the fact that the Bulls have two point guards who are just leaps and bounds better than Lucas. Derrick Rose really doesn’t need any explanation. C.J Watson is a better defender than Lucas, is better at getting his teammates involved, and has a more consistent offensive game.
The biggest issue with John Lucas is that he has an offensive game like former Bull Jamal Crawford: shoot first and think later. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, he’s a hindrance to the team.
Hopefully the Bulls can bring back Lucas as the third string point guard next year, since his contract expires this offseason, but I would expect some team will come in and make him an offer to be the team’s backup point guard, and pay him more than the minimum. In the end though, good for Lucas for coming in and playing well when he was needed, he saved his chances of being an NBA mainstay at 29 years old, not too shabby.