SUBJECT: Z. LaVine
Focus: scoring efficiency, playmaking, defense
GAME 1 OF 5
3/2 v. DAL • W, 108-100
16 pts (6/14 shooting), 6! dimes, 2 boards
Despite a slow start, LaVine's solid play proved vital down the stretch in CHI's 108-100 victory over DAL.
The entire night, he welcomed a more facilitating role - started off (early on) hitting his bigs (C. Felicio) after screens and picking spots to attack rather than look aggressively to score.
LaVine finished w/ 9 pts in the first half, with a nice turnaround J (in the post) & converted and-1 as highlights. But a disjointed 3Q (missed triple, blocked, missed jumper) followed - he went scoreless, got subbed, then checked back in to close it out.
Once the 4th started, a switch was flipped: LaVine hit a triple & tough reverse layup on back to back possessions. But that wasn't the story - he later found D. Nwaba, B. Portis (twice) & L. Markkanen for important buckets late, then hit a midrange J to ice the game.
Though he didn't lead CHI in scoring, LaVine did enough to make a difference on the final outcome.
Playmaking & recognizing mismatches seem to be improving - but did it carry over v. BOS?
GAME 2 OF 5
3/5 v. BOS • L, 105-89
4 pts (1/11 shooting), 3 steals (27 min.)
Boston is an elite defensive unit w/ legitimate title aspirations. Chicago had no answers for Brad Stevens's group, even without Kyrie Irving in the lineup - a 24-5 first quarter start led to an eventual blowout.
LaVine was amongst the many Bulls who couldn't get anything going: 4 pts on 1/11! shooting in 27 min.
Jaylen Brown played excellent defense, forcing LaVine into difficult looks & settling for deep jumpers. Since LaVine's capable of those hitting deep, off-balance looks, he sometimes prefers them over higher percentage drives.
But then again, if your opponent offers tremendous resistance & multiple effort defenders (ex. M. Smart J. Brown), it's harder to improvise off the bounce. It didn't help that his teammates couldn't generate offense either - CHI shot just 39% as a team
Something to watch in the future - How does LaVine maximize his efficiency v. elite level defenses?:
- Should he look to pass more?
- Drive the rock?
- Find a way to the FT line? (just 4 attempts v. BOS)
CHI doesn't face a playoff team the remainder of LaVine's tracking... period.
Will it lead to better results?
• 6 dimes v. DAL = second-highest total this season (7 @ MIN, 2/24)
• Season-low in scoring v. BOS (4 pts)
• Broke string of 10 straight games w/ double figure scoring v. BOS
• Got to the line just 4 times v. BOS (2/4)