Zach LaVine: Important update on knee injury
The Chicago Bulls were blown away for the second straight game by an elite team at their home on Friday night. The bigger news, however, is an update on Zach LaVine’s left knee injury. The injury came just three minutes after the Bulls’ 138-96 defeat at home to the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.
No one is entirely sure when the trauma happened, but it looks like it could have happened in this play:
On the next flooring, LaVine fouled Steph Curry so he could get out of the game. He immediately went up the tunnel to the changing room.
The Bulls were down just 4 points when LaVine left the game, and it looked like the wheel was off the wagon when he didn’t return to the game in the second quarter. LaVine left the game with 0 points and he did not return. Meanwhile, the Warriors continued to take a 41-19 lead over the Bulls in the second round to set up the attack.
The main question is how bad is LaVine’s injury?
Early update on Zach LaVine’s injury
LaVine will have an MRI on Saturday to determine if there is any structural damage to his knee. However, the earliest reports are optimistic.
As NBC Sports’ KC Johnson reports, LaVine came out of the arena “walking okay” and “showing confidence”.
Bulls coach Billy Donovan says LaVine is not traveling with the team to Boston, where Chicago will meet the Celtics.
This is the same knee he ripped his ACL in 2017 while he was still playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves. This is the play where LaVine tore his ACL net against the Timberwolves.
Believe it or not, LaVine got back into the game and played another 6 minutes after he was ripped off by the ACL.
While LaVine was able to get out of the ring on his own on Friday night, what happened in 2017 may have made fans a little more worried about the results of his MRI scan on Saturday.
A serious injury to LaVine will cost the Bulls the opportunity to play this season. DeMar DeRozan is getting MVP for his stellar season, but the Bulls’ winning season leans more towards the duo than about either of them. Together, they are averaging 52 points per game, 10.1 rebounds and 9 assists per game.
Without LaVine, DeRozan simply wouldn’t have enough help to push the Bulls forward.
What’s wrong with the Bulls?
Even with LaVine fine, suddenly there is a question of the Bulls’ fitness to compete after being beaten at home by the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday and again by the Warriors on Friday.
The biggest problem is at the defensive end of the floor. The Bulls dropped 138 points for both the Nets and Warriors in those losses. Both the Warriors and the Nets shot 56% away. The Warriors made 45% from three shots while Brooklyn sank 53% of their long-range effort.
Are the shooting teams good? Yes, but defending the outer ring is terrible, especially against turns that open up too much of an open view of the outer ring after initially giving in to no-ball penetrations. The absence of Alex Caruso is playing an important role in defence. Bringing him back some time next week would help, but there are deeper problems.
Chicago must pray that LaVine’s injury is not serious and then they have to try to improve defensively.
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