After one heck of an odd, yet jam-packed Bulls weekend, we need to go over a few things.
Let’s do this!
- To recap, Zach LaVine dropped a career-high 49 points and became only the third player in the history of the NBA to hit 13 3-pointers in a single game. His record-breaking bucket came on a game-winning shot, scooping up the basketball along the baseline and immediately running behind the arc to shoot a fade-away 3-ball. ICE. IN. HIS. VEINS. AHHHHH.
- Once LaVine stepped on the court in the 4th quarter, he would go on to score 27 points in just 10:47. Also tying Coby White’s record for most 3-pointers made in a single quarter in franchise history (7). I swear this man might have been unconscious. Did anyone check? Someone should’ve checked.
Worth mentioning that LaVine played 10:47 in the 4th quarter. He didn't even come on for the first 1:13 in the frame. https://t.co/gozHiOnuQc
— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) November 24, 2019
- LaVine’s performance will literally go down as one of the best shooting performances in NBA history, but with more context, that outing might find it’s way on the league’s list of most savage clap-back moments. In less than a 24-hour span, we saw LaVine blatantly speak out against his head coach for being pulled and then go on to have (arguably) one of the best individual games you’ll see this season. Before the show, LaVine and Boylen had a chat to put aside their differences, but regardless, LaVine still sounded like he was carrying a chip on his shoulder.
- Check out K.C. Johnson’s thread of what LaVine said leading up to his career-night.
LaVine: “If he feels he has to get on me to help that, I’m all for that. I want to be a winning guy. I haven’t won anything in the NBA. That’s why it gets frustrating.”
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 23, 2019
- Uh, so maybe Boylen should make LaVine feel disrespected every night? While I don’t think any of us expected a performance quite like what happened (especially when you consider LaVine’s a career 37.6 percent 3-point shooter), it finally felt like we saw the All-Star LaVine sold to us. The numerous workout videos and offseason hype from LaVine himself AND the Bulls organization were finally backed up in a winning-player performance. The fact alone that the Bulls walked away with a victory is huge for LaVine’s current reputation. Those numbers would have still been impressive, but like many other huge nights in LaVine’s career, they would’ve felt hollow in a loss.
- After LaVine’s comments about not having won anything in the NBA, last night’s game felt greater than what was going on inside the Bulls locker room.
Just updated it, Zach’s NBA teams are 90-219 (.291) in games he’s played. I believe him when he says he’s tired of losing. https://t.co/LRiZH7862i
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) November 23, 2019
- Anyway, lost in the madness of LaVine’s performance were Coby White’s career-high 28 points. The rookie hit two massive 3’s and scored 12 of his points in the 4th quarter to keep the Bulls within striking distance. This kid is special.
Zach was the story, but Coby White was huge in last night's win over the Hornets, scoring a career high 28 on the night: pic.twitter.com/V5TEEbaZzz
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 24, 2019
- In addition to White, Carter Jr., of course, recorded another double-double. LaVine, White, and Carter Jr. all hitting buckets on the same night? Yup, that’s a positive sign.
Lost in LaVine’s brilliance last night: Coby White: 28 points, 12-19 shooting, 4-9 from 3, 2 steals. Wendell Carter Jr. 17 points, 11 boards, 3 assists, 2 blocks. He was also the victim of some horrendous foul calls. Great effort from our young guys.
— See Red Fred (@cbefred) November 24, 2019
- Lol win projection always funny.
— Stephen Noh (@StephNoh) November 24, 2019
- All right, the fun has to stop somewhere. This game can’t be considered progress … at least not yet.
— Laurence Holmes (@LaurenceWHolmes) November 24, 2019
- Everything from the questionable defense to the odd-ball lineups to the continuous struggle for Lauri Markkanen has to be figured out. LaVine had a spectacular individual performance, and while other young players helped save the day, the Bulls still only beat the Charlotte Hornets by one point. ONE POINT. Not to mention, the Hornets final quarter was pretty darn impressive too.
Charlotte, by the way, entered the 4th with a 5 point lead. They shot 15/18 (83%), went 8/10 from the line, scored 41 points…and still lost.
— Jeff Mangurten (@JeffGurt) November 24, 2019
- The reality is, this Bulls squad is still walking a fine line. An easy six-game stretch is ahead of them, but if they can’t bring the momentum, they’ll be right back to where they started (spoiler alert: that’s bad).
- Last night’s game did see one major troubling sign: Lauri Markkanen tied his career-low in points. Right when we think The Finnisher is back, he posts another stinker. The dropoff we’ve seen from the third-year player is remarkable and concerning. Boylen opted to have Ryan Arcidiacono on the floor over Markkanen when the game was on the line. The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry discusses this in a bit more detail, as well as some rotational problems, so make sure to give it a read.
- And lastly …. Ouch:
Bulls players to Boylen GTFO pic.twitter.com/qABQDyc2u4
— Ⓜ️arcusD ▶️ (@_MarcusD3_) November 24, 2019
- Whether that was on purpose or not, that is one tough look for one tough coach.