Zach LaVine has thrived with the Bulls as a volume scorer this season, averaging 27.2 points per game in 13 contests so far. He’s shot 46% from the floor, 35% from 3-point territory and 86% from the charity stripe, which would easily make this the best scoring season of his five-year career if his numbers hold up.
The Bulls own just a 4-9 record, but it’s hard to blame LaVine for the team’s shortcomings. LaVine provides Chicago with production today, but also likely remains years away from his prime age at just 23 years old.
“I’ll do whatever I gotta do to try to put points on the board or help us win,” LaVine said before a team practice Friday, according to Mark Strotman of NBC Sports. “If that’s scoring, facilitating, rebounding, whatever it is. It’s scoring for right now. I’ll continue to do that until we need something else.”
LaVine, the No. 13 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was shipped to Chicago from the Timberwolves as part of a Jimmy Butler trade in 2017. He missed most of last season rehabbing from a torn ACL and has since come back stronger than ever.
“He’s really improved in the area of attacking the basket,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “You can see his free throw numbers are up, his finishing is better at the rim, he’s not settling for as many shots as he did a year ago and I think a lot of that has to do with the confidence that he has with his health.
“Zach is in a great rhythm on the offensive end.”
There’s more from the Central Division:
- Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo will work to add a three-point shot to his arsenal, according to ESPN. “Every year he comes back with something different,” general manager Jon Horst said. “Whether it’s at some point this year or next year, you’re going to see him with a 3-point shot.” Antetokounmpo has averaged 25.7 points and 13.4 rebounds in 11 games this season. He’s made just two of 25 shots from downtown.
- The Pistons would likely make a strong push for Bradley Beal if the Wizards choose to blow up their roster, Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press writes. Washington has started the season with a disappointing 3-9 record, and the Pistons could express interest in adding another shooter to the mix.
- Ryan Arcidiacono will remain the Bulls’ starting point guard for now, tweets K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Kris Dunn, the usual starter for Chicago, has been out of the lineup with a moderate MCL sprain. Arcidiacono scored 15 points on 6-8 shooting in a win over the Cavaliers on Saturday.