The offensive versatility for the Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine wasn’t called into question as much lately as his defensive ability.
Sometimes, a player for the Chicago Bulls is just going to be a bucket-getter more than anything else. That’s what head coach Jim Boylen and the Bulls might have on their hands this season with a potential budding star at shooting guard in Zach LaVine that seems to be on a mission to get his first career All-Star nod in 2020. There was also a whole lot of media attention that fell LaVine’s way early this week with all the “feedback” given to his game.
The Bulls are four games into their preseason schedule and have just one to go. Thus far, LaVine was an absolute stud for the Bulls when he’s actually slotted in the starting lineup. He’s shooting around 58 percent from three-point range in the preseason and averaging just above 23 points per game. The interesting part of his points per game in the preseason is the fact that he’s averaging less now than he did last season.
However, the attention falling on LaVine at the moment started with the criticism that came his way on his defensive ability and efforts. In a piece released by the Chicago Sun-Times on Oct. 14, LaVine gave his thoughts on what his ceiling could be this season and how he wanted people to stop talking a certain something about his defensive play.
Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times also reported that Boylen in fact wanted LaVine to take less mid-range attempts this season than he did last. That would be a good move given the roughly 36 percent LaVine shot from mid-range last season compared to how well he’s shooting from downtown in the preseason so far.
LaVine seemingly shot down that idea and got more of the national media involved in the process. That part of the national media included Rachel Nichols of ESPN, who jumped into the conversation on Oct. 15. She spoke her mind that essentially a quality volume scorer like LaVine should be allowed to find his buckets wherever he can get them.
This really got serious when the former Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder superstar forward (now with the Brooklyn Nets) Kevin Durant jumped into the social media discussion. In response to a graphic posted by Nichols on Twitter, Durant posted “Shoot em Zach”.
That sparked a whole other bunch of social media arguments and discussions with analytics pages and NBA fans in general. KD even stayed involved in the Twitter discussion like he sometimes likes to keep with.
LaVine will open up the 2019-20 regular season with the Bulls on Oct. 23 on the road at the Spectrum Center against the declining Charlotte Hornets. KD might not return for the Nets for the entirety of the coming season due to an Achille’s tear he suffered with the Warriors in last season’s playoffs run.