Zach LaVine's Improving Efficiency, More 2K Ratings, Chicago Sky Game 5, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Zach LaVine’s Improving Efficiency, More 2K Ratings, Chicago Sky Game 5, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

Ugh, I miss watching Zach LaVine shoot a basketball.

  • While he’s never necessarily possessed a poor jumper, it’s still impressive just how efficient LaVine has become over the years. After starting his career as a 42.2 percent scorer from the field who shot an average of just 3.0 three-point attempts per game, LaVine has shot 49.1 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from long range (7.6 3PAs) over his previous two All-Star-caliber seasons. His rise up the league’s scoring ranks has been gradual yet undeniable, and I could very well picture that rise continuing this season with his first All-NBA honor.
  • Indeed, if you remember correctly, he was already considered on that level midway through this season. Before his knee injury shrunk his overall production, LaVine had sat right next to DeRozan as one of the NBA’s most dominant offensive forces. The two-time All-Star was 10th in points per game prior to leaving the Warriors game on January 14th, and he was the only player among the league’s top-13 scorers to shoot at least 48.0 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from distance. And let’s remember he was doing this on a messed-up thumb. As long as he heads into this year fully healthy, it’s hard to put a ceiling on just how special he can be as a three-level threat.
  • Alex Caruso’s Paris journey continues!
  • That’s the smile of a man who loves to steal cookies.
  • The NBA 2K23 ratings have arrived, and we talked a little bit more about where the Bulls’ stars rank here. SBNation also released a post outlining the most overrated and underrated players in the game, and two Chicago Bulls made an appearance. Falling in the overrated category came new backup big man Andre Drummond, who the game handed an 81 overall. As I wrote in our initial post earlier this week, I was also shocked by how much respect the former All-Star received. While Drummond’s rebounding ability should be among the best in the game, everything else is … uh … suspect. As SBNation wisely put it: “He’s a perfectly fine backup center, but an 81 rating equates to a solid starter. He’s not that anymore.”
  • As for the most underrated player on the Bulls roster (besides perhaps Patrick Williams, who checks in with a 74 that ranks below Tony freakin’ Bradley), Alex Caruso was given a somewhat head-scratching 78. As limited as his scoring potential might be, I think last year solidified that Caruso is one of the most impactful on-ball and POA defenders in the league. Not to mention, if we do want to look at things on the offensive end, he’s a very solid cutter and smart ball-mover. Several teams around the league could potentially have him in the starting lineup, and I think he and Drummond might as well switch rankings.
  • ICYMI: The Athletic reported that Malcolm Hill will return to the Bulls this season on a two-way contract. Unless someone is waived or traded, Chicago will head into training camp with a full roster.
  • In a league that covets shooting, this feels like decent value for Maxi Kleber.
  • A second-straight trip to the NBA Finals is on the line for the Chicago Sky tonight. Candace Parker and Co. have been dangerous coming off losses during this playoff run, but Connecticut has only looked better and better as this series has gone on.
  • Woohoo!

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.