Central Notes: LaVine, DeRozan, Lonzo, Rubio, DiVincenzo

The 16-8 Bulls are off to a terrific start to the season, led by strong play from stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic writes that they looked like the best tandem in the league in road wins over the two New York teams on Nov. 2 and 4. DeRozan says the two players are relentless in their pursuit of success.

A commitment that we talked about long before we even played on the court was just having each other’s back, being there for one another,” DeRozan said. “That’s all I needed to hear. That’s all he needed to hear from me. As long as we could walk, we’re going to be out there and try to lead this team to be as successful as we can.”

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Within the same column, Mayberry notes that sign-and-trade acquisition Lonzo Ball has been inconsistent from game-to-game shooting from deep, but he doesn’t appear to lack confidence, which is key. Mayberry says the Bulls need the threat of Lonzo’s shooting in order to space the floor for DeRozan and LaVine. Overall, Ball is shooting a career-high 42.3% from three on 7.0 attempts per game.
  • Ricky Rubio was initially displeased when he found out he was traded to the Cavaliers last summer, but he’s played a key role in the team’s surprising start and is happy with how things have worked out, according to Joe Vardon and Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. “In the past, I would get traded and get frustrated, like, ‘Oh I have to start over again in my role,'” Rubio said. “And I was frustrated because of my ego. But when you set your ego aside and you just make the best of the role that you have and take advantage of that, there’s no better thing to do on a team than everybody accepting what they have to do.”
  • Fourth-year guard Donte DiVincenzo is nearing a return for the Bucks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). DiVincenzo has been assigned to the Wisconsin Herd, Milwaukee’s G League affiliate, and Charania says DiVincenzo could make his season debut in December. He’s been recovering from left ankle surgery. DiVincenzo will be a restricted free agent this summer if the Bucks tender him a qualifying offer.
View Comments (13)