Zach LaVine was at the center of what looked like a sinking Chicago Bulls ship. Fast forward just a few weeks since then and the Bulls have now won eight of their last 11 games with impressive road wins over the New York Knicks, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers plus a streak-snapping victory over the Brooklyn Nets. Guess who’s been at the center of the success?
LaVine has averaged 26.9 points per game throughout their current 11-game run on scintillating shooting splits of 52.8 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from deep, and 86.4 percent from the stripe. He offered a stern reminder for those writing him off earlier in the season despite clearly still working his way back from injury, via K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago:
“It’s what happens when you come off surgery, man,” Zach LaVine said. “Everybody expects you to come back and be yourself or better. But without a lot of training and rehab, you’re going to have to go through those ups and downs. I take it on the chin. I knew I was going to get back to what I was supposed to do.”
After pouring in 77 points combined on back-to-back nights on Friday and Saturday, it’s looking mighty clear that LaVine is turning the corner and playing like the max player Bulls fans hoped him to be when he signed his $215 million contract before the season.
For both LaVine and the Bulls, it’s about maintaining this level of play for the rest of the season as they find themselves right in the thick of the playoff race in the East.