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• BOAT BOYS!
River boat squad ⛴ pic.twitter.com/MJ2vnnKsKv
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 25, 2020
• Real talk: Would Gar Forman and John Paxson ever take this photo with their team? HELL TO THE NO. I’m not sure that fact tells us anything important, but it just acts as another reminder that times have changed in Chicago. Also, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley ooze more coolness than any Bulls front office members ever. I love that Karnisovas, specifically, has been repping Bulls gear from the moment he got the job. The man is just so happy to be at the helm of this team, and that’s the kind of energy this organization needs.
• Before the boat squad was born last night, the team finished up Day 4 of voluntary group workouts at the Advocate Center. It’s been reassuring to see that everyone is participating and that there are no looming injuries. Hopefully, this newfound luck for the Bulls can stretch onto into next season, and the team can finally get a fully healthy year from their projected starters (Coby White, Zach LaVine, Otto Porter, Lauri Markkanen, and Wendell Carter Jr.).
• Zach LaVine will head into his 7th season of professional basketball, and Billy Donovan will be his 6th head coach. All things considered, it’s been very impressive that LaVine could show such solid year-to-year improvement despite a constant change in system and leadership. One has to wonder how much higher his ceiling could become with a little consistency. Not to mention, Donovan will arguably the best head coach LaVine has had yet, which could mean we’re in store for yet another big step in the right direction this upcoming season. LaVine spoke with NBC Sports Chicago about what Donovan could bring to the team, and how he’s only heard positive reviews about the new head coach.
• LaVine also commented on a quote that Donovan had in his introductory press conference about the use of the mid-range game. The 25-year-old has not been shy in the past about calling that a strong part of his game and he certainly sounds excited about having the opportunity to showcase it a bit more with Donovan now leading the team: “I feel like it’s going to be a lot better for guys, especially for me, if you have that part of your game now and you can use all your tools. You know, instead of almost playing with one hand behind your back and if you get to the midrange you’re not supposed to shoot a shot that’s open. Don’t pass up on the best shot. Now, I’m not saying that we should be taking strictly midrange jumpers. I know he don’t think that either. But if it’s a good shot, you should take it and you shouldn’t feel bad about it either.”
• I agree completelywith LaVine and Donovan (whose quote you can read in our post from yesterday). I’ve always found it stupid to tell a player he can’t do something he’s proven to be good at. While I understand why a mind-range shot isn’t perceived as a high-percentage look, I also find that the entire topic a bit subjective. For certain players on certain possessions, the mid-range shot might actually be the most high-percentage take. Players like LaVine, Porter, and White have not only worked heavily on that shot in the past but have also shown it can be a key part of their game at times. The Thunder averaged the 11th-most mid-range attempts per game last season under Donovan (13.8), whereas the Bulls averaged the 25th-most (7.6). If Donovan has the personnel, he’ll let them take that shot, and therefore I expect the Bulls to be much higher in that category next season.
• LaVine also said he reached out to Boylen and thanked him for his coaching. Classy move.
Zach LaVine said he called Jim Boylen after his firing and thanked him for his hard work.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 24, 2020
• Want a full look at Billy Donovan’s first press conference, the Bulls got you covered:
• HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE GREATEST TO EVER PLAY THE GAME!!
Happy 55th birthday Scottie Pippen!
• 10x All-Defense
• 7x All-NBA
• 7x All-Star (1994 ASG MVP)
• 6x NBA Champ
• Olympic Gold Medalist
• Hall of Famer pic.twitter.com/0lczuFxjBi
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) September 25, 2020