The Chicago Bulls are off to an amazing start to the 2021-22 NBA season. While there have been major questions about the fit of their roster after a summer of changes, those doubts have been largely swatted away. Watching the Bulls this season is a great experience. Lonzo Ball is running the show, while the duo of Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan absolutely terrorize the opposition. It is exactly this duo that is the focus of everyone’s talk around the league. After so much uncertainty, the wing phenoms are proving to be an excellent pairing. To illustrate how incredible this really is, here are two stats about the LaVine-DeRozan duo that Bulls fans will love to see!
Great LaVine-DeRozan stats
They have a combined 219 fourth-quarter points this season
According to K.C. Johnson from NBC Chicago, the Bulls duo has an unreal 219 points in 16 fourth-quarters they have played this season. To really put that into context, out of all the NBA players that have played at least 10 games, DeRozan is number one and LaVine is number three in average fourth-quarter points. Between them, there is Giannis Antetokounmpo, with guys like Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Paul George, and Nikola Jokic trailing behind them.
Additionally, this has been relevant for the team. While some games have been blowouts, the Bulls came down to the wire against the Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and the Denver Nuggets, to name a few. Not to mention games that were close, but ended in blowouts due to the squad relying on their duo. All of these factors are key to the great start of the season for the Bulls.
One more aspect that needs to be mentioned is efficiency. In the fourth quarter, DeRozan is hitting on 52.6% of his shots, which is a great return, especially when considered he takes 4.8 shots. LaVine is behind on 45.8%, but that is still good for a player considered a gunner. Overall, the team can really rely upon their offensive stars to bring games to a close.
They have 10+ games with 25 or more points…each!
According to ESPN’s Stats and Info, the Bulls duo is the fastest duo to reach 25 or more points each in a season since Elgin Baylor and Jerry West did it for the Lakers in 1962. They did it in their eleventh game, while the Bulls duo did it in 16 games altogether. It is truly remarkable to even think about how efficient and great in the offensive end these two are.
Again, to put this into context, DeRozan and LaVine are currently both averaging over 25 points per game, as they are at 26.6 and 26.8 points per contest, respectively. It is difficult to find the exact information about how impressive that is, but one stat might be relevant here. One NBA team, the Memphis Grizzlies to be exact, never had a player that averaged 25 points per game for an entire season. Ja Morant might be the first one, as he is averaging 26 points right now, but it is still incredibly impressive what these two guys were able to do.
It is also relevant to see how they are scoring these points. While LaVine does step out and shoot threes, DeRozan really does it the old-school way. It is important to say that this style of basketball has been considered inefficient and that DeRozan is going to be a poor signing for the Bulls exactly because of this. However, the stats do not lie. DeRozan is currently shooting 52.3% on shots from ten to 16 feet from the basket. Additionally, from three to 10 feet, he is at 49.2% shooting, which is a very efficient number.
The Chicago Bulls will need this play to continue for the full season. While this efficiency and these numbers exactly will be incredibly difficult to sustain the rest of the season, even something similar to this might be enough for the Bulls to be considered a legitimate trap matchup in the playoffs. There is precedent in the past for two players to average 25+ points per game, as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry did in all three seasons they played in Golden State together.
Regardless of what happens by the end of the season, this has truly shown how great the Bulls organization is being run. Not a lot of executives had faith in DeRozan, nor did a lot of analysts out there think that this pairing will work. However, they have been absolutely amazing and it is a credit to them, coach Billy Donovan, and the Bulls front office who had the vision to sign them and put these two together.