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John Lucas Triple Threat
John Lucas III was a relative unknown going into this season. Having journeyed through stints in the NBA, playing overseas and the NBA D-League, Lucas found his way back to the NBA with the Chicago Bulls. Many have been surprised by his play this year, but fans should have seen this coming after he dropped 60 points against Kevin Durant in a Summer League game during the lockout.
Lucas has averaged 7.2 points, 2.2 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 0.4 steals in 14.5 minutes. He has played in 48 of the Bulls' 63 games and started two games during injuries to Derrick Rose and CJ Watson.
Lucas has provided scoring off the bench and has shot .391 from three-point. He has proven to be lightning in a bottle at various points throughout the season.
In his two starts, he averaged 16.5 points, five assists, 4.5 rebounds and one steal per game.
Lucas' best game was against the Washington Wizards on January 11, when he scored 25 points on 11-28 shooting and recorded eight assists, eight rebounds and one steal. By the end of 46 minutes of playing time, he was exhausted and rubber-legged, but this was a big game for the veteran.
Lucas' two biggest struggles are unchangeable. First, he backs up two superior guards. Rose is better in every area of the game. Watson is a better distributor and an equal scorer. Lucas will not beat Rose or Watson out for playing time but is a great backup. Second, he is short. At 5'11", Lucas is simply unable to stop bigger guards, regardless of all the heart he plays with.
Lucas is a third-string point guard and may have very little impact on the future of the Bulls. That being said, he has proven to be a more-than-capable third-string guard and is never afraid to look for his shot. He demands that defenses take him seriously when he has the ball and does not allow them to take a break when Rose and Watson are sitting, and that is more than any of us could ask of our backup's backup. I was a skeptic of Lucas at the beginning of the season, but he's made me a believer.