CHICAGO — As of late, the Chicago Bulls have been on a bit of a skid, losing five of their last six games. That very well might change with the announcement by John Paxson today during his press conference.Paxson announced that Zach LaVine will make his much awaited season debut this Saturday against the Detroit Pistons. Unfortunately, the sample-size will be minimal to start as LaVine will be on a 20-minute per game restriction to start, as reported by Darnell Mayberry of the Athletic.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 9, 2018
LaVine will be on a 20-minute restriction initially.
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) January 9, 2018
The two-time NBA Slam Dunk champion has been high-flying, doing some pretty extravagant dunks in practice recently. So any thought that his knee might have effected his explosiveness should be held back until we see him play. If he is fully recovered, the Chicago Bulls will be getting quite the player, which is what Bulls’ GM John Paxson was banking on when he traded for him this past Spring despite LaVine being in the early stages of recovering from an ACL injury.
Last year before tearing his ACL, LaVine was one of the most explosive guards in the NBA. He showed last year that his work on his outside shot was finally paying off, shooting 38 percent from the three point line before tearing his ACL. LaVine also averaged an impressive 18.9 points per game, shooting 45 percent from the field. This might not be a surprise to some of you, but Thibs ran him into the ground last year, which is pretty typical for a Thibs guard, averaging 37 minutes per game very well might have been a contributor to his injury.
If fully healthy, he can transform the offense with how well Kris Dunn and rookie Lauri Markkanen have been playing. Give him a couple games to get back before making any judgements, but don’t be surprised if he’s not Derrick Rose and comes back like Russell Westbrook did from his injury. The Bulls game with the Pistons tips on Saturday, January 3, at the United Center at 7:00 pm (CT).