Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine gets no help again in loss to the Celtics

There was no help once again for shooting guard Zach LaVine as the Chicago Bulls lost to the Boston Celtics by the final score of 113-101 on Jan. 13.

In a game where the Chicago Bulls were convincingly defeated on Jan. 13 at the hands of the Boston Celtics, a handful of recurring themes were put on full display. The most important of those recurring themes is the lack of help that 24-year-old rising star shooting guard Zach LaVine is getting with the Bulls of late.

When the Bulls fell short to the Celtics by the final score of 113-101 on Jan. 13 on the road at the TD Garden, LaVine posted a game-high 30 points. LaVine continued his torrid scoring pace in the last two dozen games of the 2019-20 regular season, and the Bulls continued their losing ways during the month of January.

Just when head coach Jim Boylen and the Bulls looked to be righting the ship before the turn of the calendar year, everything started falling apart during this difficult and lengthy 17-game slate in the month of January. The Bulls have now lost six of their last seven games. If not for that 108-99 win over the Central Division foe Detroit Pistons last weekend, the Bulls would have lost every game so far this month.

All the Bulls struggles this month can’t be blamed in the slightest on LaVine. He’s now mustered at least 20 points in each of the seven games he’s played in this month. LaVine has also scored at least 25 points in all but one game among those seven in January.

And LaVine is producing all these points efficiently. In five of the seven games this month, LaVine has an offensive rating of at least 111. He also has two occasions with an offensive rating better than 130. One of those two games was that 43-point outburst he had on Jan. 10 in the loss to the Indiana Pacers.

However, this loss to the Celtics was a great example of all that’s going wrong with the Bulls at the moment. Outside of LaVine’s 30 points, there wasn’t really anything positive to takeaway from this game. Really the only other positive game from any Bulls player came from veteran forward Thaddeus Young, who was hot off the bench in posting 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field.

The only of the Bulls starting five that finished as a net-positive on the floor against the Celtics was guard Tomas Satoransky, who was a +3. And there was no player for the Bulls that came off the bench that played in more than two minutes that was a net-positive on the night.

Power forward Lauri Markkanen didn’t have his best night, despite going a decent 4-of-9 shooting from the field. Markkanen posted just nine points, six rebounds, and two steals. His role seemed limited against this talented Celtics team.

Meanwhile, the Celtics starting five had a very solid game through and through. Third-year small forward Jayson Tatum was his team’s leading scorer on the night, with 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting from the field. What was even more impressive was Tatum and star point guard Kemba Walker combining for four blocks against the Bulls.

With this 12-point loss on the road to the Celtics on Monday night, the Bulls move to a record of 14-27 on the season. The Celtics now own a record of 28-11, and continue to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference standings halfway through the 2019-20 regular season.

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Next up for the Bulls is a home meeting with the Washington Wizards at the United Center on Jan. 15. This is a rare chance during this difficult January slate for Boylen and the Bulls to get a win. That would be just their second win since the turn of the calendar year.

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