LavineReturn

19 minutes, 14 points on 5 of 9 shooting (3-4 on three pointers), 2 assists. Final score: 107-105, the Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons in Chicago.

A great debut for the highly anticipated young star.

It was Zach LaVine bobble head night at the United Center. I don’t know why I find it amusing, but I do. A treasured memento for the evening and occasion. Are bobble heads still a thing?

19 minutes. The Bulls have Zach LaVine on a minutes restriction for the first few games. He is going to play no more than 20 minutes a night until the doctors say he can go longer.

14 points. LaVine’s first shot was a made three pointer, he scored the Bulls first points of the game. He scored in a variety of ways throughout the game, the most exciting of which was a crossover step-back three from isolation at the end of the third quarter, it’s what the Bulls have been missing this entire season. Zach LaVine can get buckets from anywhere on the court, anytime he wants.

A different point of view…

2 assists. I don’t remember these very well but I think they both came in the first quarter from the natural flow of the offense. As he and his teammates build a rapport I believe that number will go up. There was rust, and signs of defensive weakness, but rust will wear off, and defensive weaknesses can be analyzed later. For now, let’s celebrate that LaVine is back, healthy, and a Bull.

The full highlight package…

The Last of Niko?

Niko Mirotic had a great game: 16 points, 6 rebounds, an assist, a steal, and a block, all in what could be his last 21 minutes as a Bull.

Beginning January 15th (tomorrow), the restrictions levied by the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement will be lifted, and the Bulls will have the ability to trade Nikola Mirotic. Three teams have been linked to the Bulls and Niko: The Pistons, the Portland Trailblazers, and the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are the most likely trade partner out of the three, if internet rumors are to be believed, and Niko has expressed an interest in playing for Utah. The Bulls are believed to be asking for a 1st round pick in return for trading Niko, and the Jazz are trying to unload players with larger contracts like Derrick Favors, Joe Johnson, and/or Alec Burks. At this point it’s all speculation, but after tomorrow, it could be Bon Voyage, Niko!

The Young Guns

Zach LaVine and Niko Mirotic weren’t the only Bulls to have a nice night against the Pistons. Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, and Bobby Portis all had excellent scoring nights (19, 18, and 15 points respectively). If Niko is traded, i’m confident this young group of guys will be able to make up for his absence.

Another win means another step away from a top 5 draft pick. For now the tank can wait. The win, and the excellent play from the young Bulls, was the perfect welcome for LaVine, and the perfect end to Zach LaVine bobble head night.

The Worst Records in the NBA:

1. Atlanta Hawks 11-31 .262

2. Orlando Magic 12-31 .279

3. Sacramento Kings 13-29 .310

4. Memphis Grizzlies 13-28 .317

5. Dallas Mavericks 15-29 .341

7. Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets, and Phoenix Suns are all 16-27 .372