Central Notes: LaVine, Prunty, Asik

It has been one year since Bulls guard Zach LaVine tore his ACL. Since then, LaVine has changed teams and spent months recovering. As Dan Santaromita of NBC Sports Chicago writes, the 22-year-old has made progress since returning to the court but is still finding his legs.

He’s had stretches in the last few games where I think he’s shown what he can do,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “Now it’s about getting his rhythm and timing and getting him to understand when we produce good shots he’s got to raise up and shoot those.

LaVine has looked solid in limited action for the Bulls this season, posting averages of 14.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 10 contests. His shooting percentages are down versus his time with the Timberwolves but that is to be expected from somebody who had been away from the game as long as he was.

There’s more out of the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers don’t intend to change their trade deadline strategy due to Kevin Love‘s injury, Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com writes. Love’s absence will be felt, particularly on the glass, but the organization expects players like LeBron James and Jae Crowder to step up in that regard.
  • Interim head coach Joe Prunty has made major strides with the Bucks in his first few weeks at the helm, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com writes, and the team’s offensive and defensive ratings have reflected that. “Right now, you can tell guys are a little bit looser,” guard Khris Middleton said. “With Joe, he preaches confidence. His plays are designed for us to move the ball side to side more. And just, not necessarily just playing off one matchup, but just trying to use the matchup as a decoy to get other guys shots.
  • Having started his career with the Bulls, recently acquired Omer Asik is happy to be back in Chicago, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune writes, but the big man also knows that he may not see a ton of playing time. “They are really young and playing hard, so it will be good to see. I’m not young anymore. As much as they need me, I’ll be ready,” he said.
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