LaVine wants Chicago Bulls to keep improving before season ends

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, left, dunks against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 8, 2019, in Chicago. The Pistons won 112-104.

    Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine, left, dunks against Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 8, 2019, in Chicago. The Pistons won 112-104.

 
 
Updated 3/14/2019 7:48 PM

With the Chicago Bulls riding a three-game losing streak and headed on a quick three-game West Coast trip, Zach LaVine wants the improvement to resume.

LaVine missed the past two games with a sore right knee but participated in practice for the second straight day. Coach Jim Boylen declared both LaVine and Otto Porter Jr. probable for Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.

 

"The hardest thing in the NBA, I feel like in any sport, is learning how to win," LaVine said Thursday at the Advocate Center. "It's been the hardest thing for me in my career is learning how to win and be consistent with a team that's winning.

"I think you have to build that and you have to learn how to go through those ups and downs and those tough situations in a game because every game isn't going to be the same. So I feel like you have to learn with the group how to win."

After landing Porter in a trade from Washington on Feb. 6, the Bulls went 7-3 in the first 10 games he played. Then the Bulls squandered a 21-point lead against Detroit last Friday at the United Center and the three-game losing streak began.

Porter sat out Wednesday's practice with a left-knee contusion, which happened in Tuesday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. But he was back on the floor Thursday.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

It appears neither LaVine nor the Bulls gave much thought to shutting him down for the rest of the season. Last year the Bulls had both LaVine and Kris Dunn end their seasons early with injuries they probably would have played through had the team been in playoff contention.

"He needs to play. And we need him to play," Boylen said of LaVine. "We're building here. We're building something positive. We need everybody on the floor we can to keep playing together and have a feel for each other."

LaVine explained why he gave no thought to ending his season early this time.

"This is basketball. It's my favorite thing to do," he said. "What else would I be doing right now? If I can play, I'm going to play. That's just not who I am. That's not what I do.

"It's going to be good for the team. We can get our chemistry down, continue to play well, build things for next year. But I'm not somebody that's going to sit out. If I'm hurt, there's no reason to try to risk anything. But if I'm not, I'm going to play."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Since the trade with Washington, LaVine has been on a tear. He has averaged 26.8 points and 5.2 assists, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 45 percent from 3-point range. So it's no wonder he's eager to get back out there.

"I feel like I've played well all year," LaVine said. "You can get on rolls and hot streaks and things like that, but I expect myself to do that. That's the hard work I put in in the off-season.

"Every game, you can stamp my (time) card for you know what you're going to get from Zach LaVine each and every night. You might get a little extra. But, bare minimum, you're going to see what I've got every night."

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

0 Comments
 

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.