Say what you will about Zach LaVine, but this guy wants to win.
The Chicago Bulls were down 19 points to the Cleveland Cavaliers in what had the makings of another brutal night in the United Center. Then, like too many nights, LaVine had to turn on the jets and save the game.
In the 4th quarter, LaVine scored 21 points and eventually iced the game with a *sick* reverse layup in the closing seconds.
Check it out:
— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) January 19, 2020
LaVine ultimately finished the game with 42 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals.
The performance marked his third 40-point outing of the season, and he also became only the third Bull ever to record 40+ points and 5+ steals.
I know the internet is pretty divided on the “Zach LaVine All-Star” conversation, but in my opinion, games like this continue to show progress in his attempt to become a “winning player.” He is now averaging 30.6 points per game in January and has been nearly unstoppable on the offensive end.
That said, I’m still not sure LaVine will crack the All-Star day roster, but games like this certainly help his chances at a reserve spot. While the team’s win total might be an eyesore, games like tonight show NBA coaches that LaVine’s not padding stats anymore but legitimately giving his team a fighting chance.
All-Star or not, I’ve enjoyed the Zach LaVine Show, and considering we still have about half of the season to go, I hope it stays on the air.
As for the rest of the team … eh. Kornet (11), Markkanen (17), Dunn (10), and White (11) all scored in double digits, but the Bulls defense allowed for Cleveland to shoot above 50 percent from both the field and behind the arc.
Like most wins nowadays, from a team standpoint, it’s hard to have any substantial takeaways. The Bulls still suffer from an extreme lack of identity, and that’s not something LaVine’s heroics can fix.
The Bulls lack any kind of identity and it makes every game so frustrating to watch.
One night, they’re leading the 76ers at half. The next, they’re losing to the Cavs by 17 at home. Such poor leadership.
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) January 19, 2020