I’ve watched this like 20 times.
Daniel Gafford must be protected at all costs.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) December 11, 2019
- With Zach LaVine on the court last night, the Atlanta Hawks stood no chance. He came onto the floor and dropped 35 points in just 25 minutes of action, posting another crazy 3-point shooting performance with a perfect 7-7 clip from downtown. LaVine checked out of the game at the 2:24 minute mark in the 3rd quarter with the Bulls up 100-77 and chilled on the bench for the rest of the evening. Catch the highlights:
- Earlier this week, I wrote about LaVine’s comments on becoming a superstar. I addressed specifically his decision-making in crunch-time, and while I stand by those words, the game last night represented another way for him to up his reputation around the NBA. Superstars don’t only have the ability to come through in the clutch, they can also put games away from the moment the ball’s tipped-off. LaVine did exactly that against the Hawks. Props to him.
- The funny thing about being at the game was LaVine’s points felt rather quiet. Maybe it was the general lackluster atmosphere of the United Center (*ahem* Mr. Reinsdorf), but it wasn’t until I saw him knock down his sixth 3-pointer to give him 30 points that I realized the night he was having. Still, with the Hawks having the 29th defensive rating in the league, LaVine probably should have had a performance like this.
- Regardless of the opponent though, this is an impressive feat.
The @chicagobulls Zach LaVine had an eFG% of 96.9% last night, the highest in team history by a player with 30+ points:
96.9% – LaVine
96.7% – Scottie Pippen (Jan. 24, 1996)
94.1% – Pippen (Feb. 23, 1991)
93.3% – Toni Kukoc (Feb. 17, 1995)
92.3% – Steve Johnson (Mar. 23, 1985) pic.twitter.com/V6aHhRe9sh
— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) December 12, 2019
- Six players dropped double-digits for the Bulls, but the second most impressive performance of the night came from a guy who wasn’t on that list. Kris Dunn held Trae Young to only 15 points on 4-14 shooting (was averaging 28.4 heading into the game). He also had his 10th game of the season with three or more steals. As it stands, he is tied with Ben Simmons for the most steals in the league and tied for third in steals per game. The craziest part … he’s accomplished this by averaging only 21.7 minutes per game (26.4 over the last 7 games as he’s gotten more starting minutes with Chandler Hutchison hurt). Meanwhile, Simmons is at 34.3 minutes per game. The other players around Dunn in these categories: Jimmy Butler (35.1 mpg), Fred VanVleet (36.6 mpg), and James Harden (37.9 mpg).
- The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry talks more about Dunn’s performance and his All-NBA aspirations. Dunn has some great quotes in there, so I recommend checking it out. A snippet: “You think I should be on the defensive team? I mean, do you see a lot of defenders doing what I’m doing? I’m just asking. What I do is a little different.” He’s right.
Kris Dunn Vs Trae Young pic.twitter.com/8Cyr50RiSC
— Gustavo Vega (@iamvega1982) December 12, 2019
- K.C. Johnson knows what’s up:
Kris Dunn after locking up the fifth-leading scorer in the NBA: pic.twitter.com/cIboNVNB7J
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) December 12, 2019
- Also in Mayberry’s Athletic piece, an amusing fact-check on one of Jim Boylen’s ridiculous comments.
— jon greenberg (@jon_greenberg) December 12, 2019
- Who’s going to tell him he can’t just say these things? Every ounce of credibility drains out of this man with bizarre comments like this. He doubles-down on averaging 35 assists, which has never been done before in the NBA. Sure, records can be broken any time, but this isn’t just a hard-to-reach goal, it feels flat-out unattainable. To give more perspective on that ridiculous number, the leader in the NBA right now is the Phoenix Suns with 28.4. Even after a blowout victory, Boylen finds a way to embarrass this team. Can we get one night off!?
- All right, that’s progress.
Lauri Markkanen has shown signs of life and his old form in December.
In 6 games this month, he's averaging 18.7 points on 52.6% shooting and 43.5% 3-point shooting.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) December 12, 2019
- Johnson wrote about Thaddeus Young’s big night. The Bulls’ free-agent addition had arguably his best game of the season with 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists. He also clocked a season-high in minutes at 32:47. Good for the big fella, he deserves it after putting up with this mess of a team.
- Up next for the Bulls … the red hot Devonte Graham. Shut him down, Dunn.
NBA All-star? Most Improved?
Devonte Graham dropped a career-high 40!
Last 5 games
40 PTS, 7 3PT, 5 AST
29 PTS, 6 3PT, 6 AST
12 PTS, 8 AST
29 PTS, 6 3PT, 8 AST
33 PTS, 10 3PT, 9 AST
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) December 12, 2019