Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY
Nikola Vucevic had a major skill to improve upon this offseason.
He posted the third most double doubles in the league last year, yet something was missing on the interior. It was a toughness and paint and rim protection that the elite big men have. Vucevic was only in his second year and had a lot to learn. He spent most of that season without the support of Glen Davis, a more rugged defender, behind him. The defensive onus fell on Vucevic.
There were times he played well and times he struggled.
Jacque Vaughn came into the season saying the goal for Vucevic and the other bigs was to do a better job challenging at the rim, blocking shots and protecting the paint. Already, it seems, that work has paid off with Jason Maxiell, Solomon Jones and Kyle O'Quinn able to provide some muscle behind him.
"It definitely helps having good player slike Max and Glen around you," Vucevic said. "I think we fit together pretty well -- ...