Chicago Bulls: How LaVine worked to improve his game this offseason

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Last season, Chicago Bulls 25-year-old standout shooting guard Zach LaVine made significant strides in his game. Can he do the same in 2020-21?

A lot of hope was sparked by a number of positive changes to the Chicago Bulls organization from the top-down so far this offseason. And a lot of these changes are likely to give some of the top Bulls players in this building young core, like point guard Coby White and shooting guard Zach LaVine, a boost heading into the next NBA season.

The Bulls have a potential budding star in the 25-year-old 6-foot-6 and 180 pound former UCLA Bruin LaVine. He continues to improve, and one more year of his game still trending up and he could get that elusive first career All-Star selection. It looked like LaVine was going to get his first All-Star nod last season, but he was snubbed from the Eastern Conference team.

More improvements that LaVine can make this offseason would include rounding out his offensive game, making smarter decisions with the ball in his hands on a consistent basis, and continuing to improve on the defensive end of the floor.

But the avid gamer LaVine opened up on his Facebook Gaming page/stream this week to tell fans how he was improving his game this offseason. He stated that “he has been working on his playmaking, defense, midrange/floaters, and conditioning. Interesting that he’s working on his midrange game and his floaters, but the rest of this offseason plan sounds like he’s moving in the right direction.

During the 2019-20 shortened regular season with the Bulls, LaVine played in 60 games (all of which he started in). He averaged 25.5 points per game. 4.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.5 blocks. And LaVine shot 45.0 percent from the field, 38.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 80.2 percent from the free-throw line.

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That helped LaVine post a career-best box plus/minus rating of 2.5, 2.4 value over replacement player rating, .091 win shares per 48 minutes, 4.0 total win shares, 56.8 true shooting percentage, 106 offensive rating/110 defensive rating, and a 19.4 player efficiency rating. A lot of the all-encompassing advanced metrics highlighted the improvements LaVine already made in his game last season.