Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine couldn’t care less what people say about his defense. After all, he knows himself what he can do on that end of the floor and what he brings to the team.
LaVine said as much after helping the Bulls take down the Minnesota Timberwolves in double overtime on Friday, during which he was all over the floor for Chicago. LaVine finished with 39 points on top of four rebounds and five dimes. He had the best plus-minus rating on the team along with DeMar DeRozan, with both players finishing with 17.
Following the showdown and heading to their meeting with the Miami Heat on Saturday, LaVine talked about the criticisms on his defense and strongly pushed back on the narrative that he’s a bad defender.
“People can talk about my defense all they want to. I’ve always been one of the best on-ball defenders. One-on-one situations, there’s not a lot of people that are going to get by me,” LaVine shared, per Daniel Greenberg of Fan Sided.
Zach LaVine has always been a great offensive weapon, and while he had his struggles this 2022-23 season, that hasn’t changed. While many see him as an incredible scorer, however, it also often overshadows his defense.
True enough, as LaVine claimed, he isn’t as bad as a defender that many claims he is. In fact, his defensive rating (111.7) is right around the league average. While he can certainly improve that area, it sure looks like an exaggeration to say that he’s a subpar defender.
But then again, LaVine knows very well that the only way to shut down his haters is by letting his game do the talking.