Bulls' LaVine dealing with extra defensive attention
Zach LaVine had an unusual scoring output in Friday's loss to Orlando. He scored 2 points in the first three quarters, then poured in 24 in the fourth.
It's easy to say LaVine should be more aggressive early, but he's also seen opponents step up their efforts to slow him down. Tom Thibodeau's New York Knicks trapped him aggressively off screens this week and Orlando did the same on Friday.
"I thought I really pushed the tempo," LaVine said after the game. "I was playing aggressive, but it was with the pass. I was getting downhill, creating passes, hitting Denzel (Valentine) and Thad (Young) and Coby (White) had a lot of open looks. So playing the right way, I'm always fine with that, especially if we're close in the game or winning. But I've got to try to look for my shot a little bit as well in those times to keep myself in rhythm."
LaVine tried to be more aggressive at the start of Saturday's rematch, scoring 11 points in the opening quarter. The thinking is if he's good enough to score 24 in the fourth, he should be able to handle however teams are playing him.
"I think Zach's played well," coach Billy Donovan said. "But I also think for him to be aggressive early in the game, maybe not necessarily scoring or shooting but attacking and playing downhill -- we need more of that from him I think earlier in the game."