Porter misses practice, but LaVine returns to court
The news was mostly positive Wednesday on the injury front, even though Otto Porter Jr. skipped practice due to a left knee contusion.
But Zach LaVine, after missing two games with a sore right knee, participated in the full workout and was seen getting up some extra shots after practice ended at the Advocate Center.
"We thought he was going to be limited and he felt good and got through the whole practice," coach Jim Boylen said of LaVine. "And we had contact today. Spent a lot of time on the defensive end of the floor, kind of filling our buckets there."
Boylen said Porter got hit in the knee at some point during Tuesday's loss to the Lakers and was sore. It's uncertain how much time off he'll need, but the Bulls have another practice day Thursday before starting a three-game West Coast swing against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"I am optimistic (both players will be ready for Friday's game)," Boylen said. "We'll see how Otto does tomorrow. But we're hoping to have both those guys for the start of the trip and see how it goes."
Playing for pride?
The Bulls have shown signs of improvement since the trade with Washington last month, but they've got nothing to actually play for as the regular season winds down.
"I talk about it. I told them this morning I'm not happy with our defense and our edge," Bulls coach Jim Boylen said Wednesday. "You can't exhale in this league. We had a big home win against Philadelphia and then we've had some 20-point leads and I think we exhale sometimes. You can't do that.
"I'm going to keep driving these guys the best I can. The way I do it is tell them the truth, direct and honest, what we need to do better. Then we come on the practice floor and we work on it."
Boylen has 10-year plan:
The end of the season is a chance for some of the guys who don't play as much show they belong in the NBA. There have been mixed results for guys like Shaq Harrison, Wayne Selden Jr., Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Antonio Blakeney.
Selden led the Bulls in scoring Sunday with 18 points at Detroit. Then he got tossed in the third quarter against the Lakers for complaining to the refs.
"I tell them my goal for them is to play 10 years," coach Jim Boylen said. "I hope the 10 years is with us, with the Bulls, great franchise, great city. But I want them to play 10 years. That's starts today. That starts with the next possession.
"I believe that. I've seen it happen. You don't know who's watching. You're always being evaluated by somebody. There will be five to seven scouts here (most nights). I think part of my job and our job is to raise them up, help them get an opportunity and tell them the truth and I try to do that."