Advertisements
Bulls Recap and Analysis

Bulls: LaVine Shines in Debut Against Pistons, Bulls Win 107-105

Zach LaVine scored 14 points in 19 minutes of action in his much anticipated Bulls debut on Saturday night as Chicago knocked off Detroit 107-105.

The story of this game was Zach LaVine’s long-awaited debut, and he did not disappoint. After an ACL tear that has sidelined him since last February, Bulls fans were extremely excited to finally get to see LaVine play. Although he did start the game, he was limited to only 20 minutes of playing time. 

Tonight’s match-up was the Bulls’ first of four this season against the Detroit Pistons. Chicago played a great game, especially on the offensive end, to come out with the 107-105 win. 

In just the first 30 seconds of the match, LaVine already made his presence known, knocking down a 27-foot three-pointer for his first points as a Chicago Bull. Minutes later, he hit a nice mid-range jumper, and then subbed out for Denzel Valentine due to his minutes restriction. 

Chicago’s offense was on fire in the first quarter. Lauri Markkanen was 3-3 from beyond the arc, and Robin Lopez put up 12 points in the first 12 minutes, including an electrifying poster over Luke Kennard. As the buzzer sounded to end the first, the Bulls had a 36-31 lead.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

While the Bulls may have continued their solid offensive performance into the second quarter, Detroit’s offense roared back as well as they outscored Chicago 30-24 to give them a one-point lead at the end of the first half.

Markkanen and Lopez cooled down in the second, but Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic took their place, putting up nine points and six points respectively. Avery Bradley was a monster in the first half, scoring 19 points, while Andre Drummond had 13 to go along with six rebounds. 

The Bulls came out swinging in the third quarter to regain their lead. In just three minutes, Chicago went on a 11-0 run. Kris Dunn and Lauri Markkanen attacked hard and scored efficiently. LaVine looked like a seasoned player, not someone who played his first game in 11 months tonight. Heading into crunch time, the Bulls led 87-84. 

Portis and Mirotic were essential in giving the Bulls some cushion in the the final quarter. But the Pistons would not go away as they rallied back to take the lead with three minutes left. Chicago could not keep Andre Drummond off the glass and he in turn got the Pistons some key second chance buckets. 

With 1:10 left, Kris Dunn in-bounded the ball to Lauri Markkanen from the baseline, and Markkanen hit a huge jumper to give Chicago a 106-105 lead. On the other end, Drummond missed a potential game-winning layup, and Dunn was fouled on the rebound. He hit one of two free throws to give the Bulls a two-point lead. 

Avery Bradley took a rushed three-pointer, and the Bulls collected the rebound and used up almost 20 seconds of game clock until Justin Holiday turned the ball over with four seconds remaining. Reggie Bullock had an opportunity to tie the game on the fast-break, but he could not convert, and thus, the Bulls got the win. 

In his debut, Zach LaVine had an impressive game, scoring 14 points in 19 minutes. Four out of the five Bulls starters were in double figures, along with Portis and Mirotic, who had great games off the bench. Markkanen had 19 points, while Kris Dunn was close to a triple-double, with 18 points, eight assists, and eight rebounds, as well as three blocks and three steals. 

Takeaways

Obviously, Zach LaVine’s fantastic play tonight is already promising. But what I find especially promising is his three-point shooting. He shot 3-4 from beyond the arc and looked confident and in control shooting the ball.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

If he is to take over at the shooting guard position, the Bulls have to be able to rely on him to shoot well from three-point range. The key moving forward, no matter whether LaVine starts or comes off the bench, is consistency. 

As a whole, the Bulls shot very well, with a 47.2 three-point field goal percentage and a 48.3 field goal percentage. The future looks bright for this young team, but as with LaVine, consistency is the key for more prolonged success. 

After tonight’s victory, the Bulls improved to 16-27. Their next game is on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, January 15, at 2:30 pm (CT). Catch the action on NBC Sports Chicago (TV) or WLS-AM 890 (Radio). 

Advertisements

0 comments on “Bulls: LaVine Shines in Debut Against Pistons, Bulls Win 107-105

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: