In what isn’t nearly as surprising as Wednesday’s news, Zach LaVine will sit out the Chicago Bulls’ battle with the Washington Wizards on Friday.
This quickly became the expectation when the initial news of LaVine’s season-opening absence dropped. Not only did head coach Billy Donovan directly state that his All-Star’s availability was unlikely, but the game marked the first back-to-back set of the season. While nobody expected LaVine to be experiencing knee issues to start the year, I do think it was already assumed that the Bulls would take a cautious approach with back-to-backs, specifically early in the season.
Indeed, regardless of knee pain, we should expect to see the Bulls sit LaVine for a game during the majority of upcoming back-to-backs.
The question now is whether or not LaVine does make his debut at the United Center on Saturday. While this seems to still be the expectation for both parties, the Bulls also haven’t been the most forthcoming with information about exactly what LaVine is experiencing. So, as much as I’d like to expect to see him back in the lineup against the Cavaliers, I don’t think we can guarantee he’ll be ready until the Bulls give the official word.