The only thing higher than Zach LaVine’s vertical might be his All-Star hopes.
Ever since he was snubbed (depending on how you look at it) of a spot last season, repping an All-Star jersey sure does sound like one of his primary goals this season. At Media Day, he told reporters he wants to be in the “elite group conversation,” but he also understands that comes with winning.
“I had an All-Star-caliber season, but I didn’t take it as that because we didn’t win,” LaVine said. “I think everything comes with winning, and I want that to be more important. Because if we’re in that position to where we’re winning and we’re playing the right way and we can make the playoffs, I think just by the way, how we are on the court, that’s going to be enough validation for (me and Lauri Markkanen) being into that (All-Star) Game.”
Technically, his All-Star campaign doesn’t start until the regular season begins in Charlotte on Oct. 23, but, uh, nobody tell him that because I’m having too much fun already!
LaVine hasn’t only been #grinding this offseason with workouts that make me wheeze just watching, he’s starting this preseason on fire. After a 16-point performance in the first game against the Milwaukee Bucks, LaVine decided to mess around and grab 28-points last night against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Check out some of the highlights:
ESPN didn’t rank Zach LaVine in their top 25 players under 25 years old 😬
Dude is a bucket pic.twitter.com/VAOJpd4mDR
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) October 10, 2019
First of all, he makes everything look so incredibly easy. Secondly, EAT IT, ZION! Oh my, sorry, I don’t know where that came from.
Anyway, LaVine balled-out last night in his typical fashion with flashy dunks and some clean three-pointers. He scored his 28 points in only three-quarters of actions and doing a lot of it alongside new point guard’s Tomas Satoransky and Coby White was a refreshing scene.
Regular season wins are going to help LaVine’s case the most for an All-Star nod, but also upping his defensive game sure won’t hurt it.
Some more good LaVine defense. Zion comes down for the duck in and LaVine battles him to stop him from getting the ball. He's giving up ~80 pounds in that matchup. These are the kind of effort plays that he had been lacking in the past. Nice to see him bringing it yesterday. pic.twitter.com/lQidPapwyN
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) October 10, 2019
Hey, that’s new! Me Likey.
If this is LaVine in limited minutes … what’s it going to look like when the leash is taken off?