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Bulls’ Zach LaVine responds to benching with active all-around game

LaVine responds to benching with active all-around game originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

You could focus on Zach LaVine’s numbers, which featured 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals in the Chicago Bulls’ losing-streak-snapping victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday night at the United Center.

You could focus on his energy and activity at both ends, which included perhaps his best individual defensive stretch and offensive explosion that produced an angry dunk and another dunk attempt over two Celtics that led to two free throws.

You could even focus on his nine points in the final 6 minutes, 12 seconds, which included three 3-pointers to tie Ben Gordon for second all-time on the franchise list behind Kirk Hinrich.

You know, the stretch-run minutes that LaVine so adamantly stated he deserves to play in after coach Billy Donovan benched him last game.

DeMar DeRozan chose to give voice to perhaps LaVine’s biggest move of the night.

“He moved on,” DeRozan said.

That’s what uber-confident players do. That’s how faces of the franchise operate.

LaVine didn’t need to be benched in the last game to know he played poorly. But neither his 1-for-14 night in last Friday’s loss to the Orlando Magic nor the benching shook his deep belief that the next shot is going in — always.

“I go home and evaluate my game like I do with good games, bad games,” LaVine said. “I talk to my wife. I talk to my father a lot. That’s someone I always talk to. He gave it to me straight, ‘You played like s***. Go play better next game. It’s as simple as that. It’s one game. You’ve played 500 games in your career. You’re going to have another bad night. Just hopefully it’s not as bad as that one. Go play better next game.’”

And so perhaps Paul LaVine deserves an assist for Monday night. But, really, this falls on LaVine’s unshakeable confidence and attention to detail.

That’s where Donovan placed his focus — how LaVine impacted the game early even when his shot wasn’t falling. He read defenses, set up teammates and flashed the aforementioned active defense.

Story continues


Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/bulls-zach-lavine-responds-benching-044956029.html?src=rss

Author : NBC Sports Chicago

Publish date : 2022-11-22 04:49:56

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