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Zach LaVine says Kris Dunn is ‘doing just fine’ despite struggles

Bulls

The road toward respectability will often be rocky for the Chicago Bulls. After another substandard performance by Kris Dunn in his team’s 109-108 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday, his backcourt mate acknowledged that reality by expressing confidence in the former top-five pick despite his ongoing struggles.

“I think everybody gets that stigma every once in a while, but I think he’s handled it the right way,” Zach LaVine said of Dunn, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “He practices hard. So I’m cool with Kris. We’ve always been good teammates.

“He’s a great on-ball and off-ball defender, and he’s working on his offensive game as well. Last year was his first time starting as a point guard in the NBA. It’s always tough to judge somebody on just one year of work. He’s doing just fine.”

Dunn scored eight points, grabbed three rebounds, and dished two assists on 3-of-9 shooting against the Magic. He missed the Bulls’ previous contest with a lower back contusion, but scored just two points and eight points, respectively, in his team’s prior pair of game. Dunn’s labors extend further back than just before the All-Star break, though. He’s been wildly inconsistent for Chicago this season, with the lows still far outnumbering the highs.

The 24 year old is averaging 11.7 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in 31.3 minutes per game this season. Though he’s an impactful defender and high-level athlete with advanced ball handling skills, Dunn hasn’t been able to translate his strengths into efficiency. His true shooting percentage is just 48.7, far below league average and especially bad for a player with his usage rate.