Zach LaVine will not play in back-to-back games for rest of 2017-18 NBA season
Since making his return to the court last month, guard Zach LaVine has been a huge asset for the Chicago Bulls stepping in as their top scoring option. He has shown much promise into becoming a rising star in the league that the franchise could build around over the next several years.
The Bulls have continued to take the precautionary route with his playing time given he is coming off an ACL tear that occurred just over a year ago. With that in mind, Chicago has made it clear that they plan on keeping LaVine out of one game of back-to-backs for the remainder of the 2017-18 NBA season, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.
Bulls guard Zach LaVine will be held out of one game on all remaining back-to-back sets for the remainder of the season, the team announced. Chicago has four back-to-back sets left. #Bulls #BullsNation
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) February 25, 2018
There are four more back-to-backs remaining on the schedule for the Bulls over the last couple of months of this season, which would keep him off the floor for at least four more games. Despite that, there is still ample time for him to continue to prove that he can physically handle an increased workload.
In 16 games played this season, he is averaging 17.5 points per game on 40.2 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc with 4.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.0 steals per contest. In that span, he has scored in double figures 13 times with seven 20-point performances and one 30-point outing. This includes recording 20 or more points in four straight games. He has shown the same explosiveness and ability on the court that he had prior to the torn ACL that made him one of the more promising young players in the league.
What has been most encouraging over the last few weeks is that LaVine has been able to handle increased minutes on the floor this month with 30 or more minutes played in six of the games played. Although the Bulls are set on playing him in both games of a back-to-back, if he’s able to take the floor in a larger role should be the more important aspect of the situation. Ultimately, it’s something that Chicago will continue to keep monitor over the last several weeks of the regular season.