The Chicago Bulls could be without their All-Star shooting guard for the second game in a row.
According to the latest injury report, Zach LaVine remains questionable for tonight’s battle with the Sacramento Kings. LaVine sat out the team’s previous matchup with the similarly shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers, which the Bulls won handily at 101-91.
Head coach Billy Donovan has not implied any added concern with LaVine’s latest situation. We all know the face of the franchise will continue to play the remainder of the season with this knee issue, and the team will have to monitor his minutes because of it. The idea that there could be extra motivation to give LaVine added rest before the playoffs make perfect sense, but we also can’t deny it’s in the team’s best interest to still gobble up wins. And there is no question that is an easier task when LaVine is on the floor.
Billy Donovan characterizes Zach LaVine's left knee ailment as "discomfort."
Donovan didn't seem to raise his level of concern that LaVine is sitting out after 2 off days.
He also doesn't view this as regression as much as monitoring a workload.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) March 12, 2022
Billy Donovan repeats on Zach LaVine's knee: "He is not dealing with pain." Issue is occasional swelling leading to tightness/stiffness, which impacts mobility
Said LaVine feels better after treatment than pre-All-Star. Focus is on maintaining that for rest of season
— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) March 7, 2022
Now, for what it’s worth, the Bulls did beat the Kings back on February 16th without LaVine. Coby White dropped a huge 31 points behind six 3-pointers while DeMar DeRozan continued his historic streak with 38 points. So we do have recent proof that a LaVine-less Bulls can hang with the new-look Kings.
I would say it also doesn’t hurt that we got more good news came on the Alex Caruso front, as the team’s top defender has officially been removed from the injury report. Whether or not he will remain on a minutes restriction is unclear, but the Bulls should be able to get at least another active 29 minutes out of him this evening.
My fingers are crossed LaVine can take the floor healthy tonight, but if another game off positions this Bulls team better down the road, it is what it is.