3. Round 2
(#1) LaVine vs (#8) Porter
The first round was just the warm-up. Our next round kicks off with a showdown between the two of the Bulls top-four scorers. LaVine became one of only 11 players to average at least 25.5 points, 4.5 boards, and four assists in a season and not make an All-Star roster. Porter’s Bulls tenure started well with him averaging over 21 points per game over his first five in Chicago.
If you saw the Run With Us episode that was the inspiration for this piece, then you saw the clip of LaVine handing Porter a belt after a contest during practice before their big one-on-one tournament. Don’t expect a repeat here, Zach uses that defeat as well as being snubbed form All-Star and Team USA as motivation to come out victorious
(#5) White vs (#13) Valentine
Shooters shoot. That is the overwhelming theme of this matchup. The Bulls have LaVine, Markkanen, and Porter but there isn’t a purer shot on the team than White’s. In Valentine’s case, well, he seems to think he has a shot like White’s considering his propensity to jack them up. They are similarly built so we have to fall back on skill.
Neither player will be trying to get to the rim with regularity, so this is a perimeter battle that might look more like a game of H-O-R-S-E than one-on-one. The thought is that the tit-for-tat nature of it would favor the better shooter who also happens to get hot easier. Valentine’s years of service aren’t enough to overcome the sometimes otherworldly shooting from the rook.