Bulls cancel practice; report says LaVine will miss games
The bad news keeps rolling in for the Bulls.
On Wednesday night, Zach LaVine scored 21 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter of a disappointing loss to Orlando at the United Center.
Then on Thursday, the Bulls announced a scheduled practice was canceled due to health and safety protocols, and minutes later ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that LaVine is expected to miss several games for the same reason.
There was no other news released by the team, so feel free to connect the dots. This has the appearance of a COVID positive, which could keep LaVine sidelined for two weeks or more. The Bulls have had three players test positive previously this season -- Garrett Temple, Chandler Hutchison and Tomas Satoransky.
It could turn out to be something different, though, such as being symptomatic, a false positive or close contact with someone who tested positive.
But the Bulls were already in a difficult stretch, going 3-8 since the trades that brought all-star center Nikola Vucevic and four other players to the roster. Their current four-game losing streak includes a loss to the team with the league's worst record (Minnesota) and Wednesday's home loss to Orlando, which broke a six-game losing streak, in the return of Wendell Carter Jr.
In the last 11 games, LaVine and Vucevic have been playing well, but everyone else has been inconsistent, and the defense has been deficient.
"I keep saying the same thing in all these interviews," LaVine said after Wednesday's loss. "I'm trying to keep spirits up in the locker room. If you don't go out there and compete, you're not going to be in a position to win.
"Guys are frustrated. We know we're better, and we're supposed to be beating some of these teams. We went on a little win streak and then we reverted back down to losing. Guys get frustrated. You'd rather have guys frustrated than not, but that frustration has to turn into something on the court."
LaVine is averaging a career-high 27.5 points on the season, which ranks ninth-best in the league.
The Bulls were 10th in the East as of Thursday morning, good enough for the second play-in spot with 18 games remaining. But both Toronto and Washington are one game behind the Bulls, with Cleveland two games back. The Bulls host Memphis Friday and Cleveland Saturday.