LaVine to see increased minutes beginning Saturday in Atlanta

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Zach LaVine will see an increase in minutes, beginning with Saturday's game in Atlanta. After being limited to 20 minutes in his first three games after returning from knee surgery, LaVine will get 24 minutes and is expected to play in the fourth quarter for the first time.

    Zach LaVine will see an increase in minutes, beginning with Saturday's game in Atlanta. After being limited to 20 minutes in his first three games after returning from knee surgery, LaVine will get 24 minutes and is expected to play in the fourth quarter for the first time. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 1/19/2018 6:30 PM

Zach LaVine is scheduled to take a small step forward with Saturday's game in Atlanta. His minutes will increase to 24 per game and he's expected to see action in the fourth quarter for the first time since returning from knee surgery.

During his first three games with a 20-minute limit, LaVine was pretty good against Detroit and Miami, then he struggled in Wednesday's loss to Golden State. Overall in the three contests, LaVine averaged 12.3 points and 3 assists, shooting 42.4 percent while hitting 5 of 13 shots from 3-point range.

 

"He'll get some fourth quarter minutes," coach Fred Hoiberg said Friday. "We're not going to overextend him right now because he's still obviously very early in the process as far as getting back on the floor and getting in game shape. We don't want to get him fatigued out there so we'll keep his rotation stretches short."

LaVine may play point guard at times, with Kris Dunn sidelined by a concussion and Jerian Grant joining the starting lineup. Hoiberg used LaVine at point for a short stretch in his first game back.

"There's going to be some ups and downs as he continues to try to get back into his rhythm," Hoiberg said. "He didn't shoot the ball very well, obviously, the other night against Golden State (2 for-12). It was good to see him get his first dunk. To see what he did those first two games in limited minutes shows you how talented he is, and also the amount of confidence he plays with.

"We had a good film edit for him this morning, mostly on the defensive end. And he took a couple tough, contested midrange shots that we've got to get away from taking, especially when we're in our switch attacks. But he's going to be fine. We're excited to get him more minutes, continuing to hopefully get him in more of a rhythm."

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Payne working way back:

Point guard Cameron Payne is back on the practice court after foot surgery, but he remains several weeks away from being game ready.

"He's been cleared to do some 5-on-0 stuff," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "We still don't want him exploding a lot off that foot, but he's been cleared to do some 5-on-0 and noncontact portions of practice."

Payne had surgery on his right foot Sept. 8. He appeared in 11 games last season after being acquired in a trade from Oklahoma City.

Bulls horns:

The Bulls sent Paul Zipser and Cristiano Felicio to the Windy City Bulls. They're expected to play in two games against the Wisconsin Herd. Windy City hosted the Herd Friday at the Sears Centre, with the rematch in Oshkosh, Wis., slated for Saturday. … If Lauri Markkanen makes at least 2 shots from 3-point range on Saturday, he'll set the NBA record for consecutive games with multiple 3-pointers by a rookie. His current streak is 12 in a row, which was also accomplished by Orlando's Mike Miller in 2001.

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