Tagged in: Chicago Bulls

Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine focused on becoming NBA All-Star

Zach LaVine set out his objectives for this upcoming season with the Chicago Bulls, aiming on winning and making the All-Star team. 

With All-Star Weekend set to come back to Chicago for the first time in three decades this February, the two-time slam dunk champion is certainly eyeing this year’s festivities. But not just the ones on Saturday night.

Which is why even after a career-best 2018-19 season with the Chicago Bulls, he knows what needs to be done in order to reach his goal of becoming an NBA All-Star.

LaVine, 24, averaged career highs of 23.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists with 46.7 percent shooting during his fifth season, but the Bulls were an afterthought with a 22-60 finish.

He appeared in 63 total games while battling an ankle injury and pushing through drama within the organization that resulted in Jim Boylen being promoted to head coach after the firing of Chicago’s previous sideline leader Fred Hoiberg.

Although they didn’t fully see eye to eye in the beginning, Boylen surely has faith in LaVine’s offensive ability, after finishing in the top-20 of NBA scoring, but he is now challenging LaVine to regularly commit to the other end of the court.

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“What I’d like him to be is a two-way player, and I’d also like him to be a guy that shoots eight, nine, 10 free throws a game,” Boylen said.

Bulls forward Thaddeus Young didn’t make the final cut from the Team USA roster this summer to compete in FIBA Basketball World Cup action, but he was able to interact with several of the league’s rising stars such as Donovan Mitchell, Jayson Tatum and Myles Turner through that experience.

Young sees a common thread between LaVine and that level of talent. Chicago posted the league’s sixth-worst defensive rating last season (112.8), so it’s not only LaVine who is looking to improve defensively but also the team, which gets back to his point of team and individual success being intertwined.

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Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76er

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The Philadelphia 76ers own the worst record in the NBA and are in the middle of a stretch of games against the top teams in the Eastern Conference. The 76ers will try to end a three-game slide when they host the Chicago Bulls on Thursday.

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The Bulls will be eager to arrest a three-game slide tonight after losing to the Bucks by 106-101 on Tuesday. Jimmy Butler led the team with 30 points and six assists while Nikola Mirotic and Tony Snell added 17 points each, but the Bulls dropped their intensity in the fourth quarter and it cost them the game. Derrick Rose scored just nine points in 22 minutes of action and will be a game-time decision for tonight’s game as he deals with knee soreness. Chicago is now 22-15 on the season and 6-9 on the road.

The 76ers have lost five of their last six games and are in danger of losing a fourth straight after Sunday’s 95-85 loss to the Cavaliers. Jahlil Okafor led the scoring with 21 points while Ish Smith added 18 points and 10 assists, but while the Sixers showed plenty of fight, the Cavs had LeBron James who took over the game late and dealt the Sixers their three straight loss. Philadelphia is now 4-36 on the season and 2-15 at home.

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Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls

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It’s an Eastern Conference match-up as the Chicago Bulls host the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center as the regular season of the National Basketball Association continues.

The game is on January 5, 2016 at 8:00 PM ET.

This is only the first meeting between the two squads and they are set to clash four times in the regular season so this first game should be interesting as they will be able to gauge how they rank against each other.

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The Bucks were going for a third straight win last night, but instead got run off the court by the Spurs in a 123-98 beatdown. All five starters finished in double figures, with Khris Middleton scored 19 points, Michael Carter-Williams added 16 points and Greg Monroe chipping in with 15, but the Bucks just couldn’t find a way to slow down the Spurs who shot 54 percent from the field to finish with a season high in total points. With the loss, Milwaukee falls to 14-22 on the season overall and 9-7 at home.

The Bulls have won five of their last six and will be aiming for a fifth straight win after sneaking past the Raptors in a 115-113 thriller on Sunday. Nikola Mirotic had 17 points while Pau Gasol added 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, but this win was all about Jimmy Butler who poured in a record 40 points in the second half after scoring just two points in the first half. With the win, Chicago improves to 20-12 on the season and 6-7 on the road. Derrick Rose was once again absent from the starting lineup as he deals with his right hamstring injury.
BUZZER BEATERS

  1. Butler also had one steal against Toronto to extend his streak of consecutive games with at least one theft to 40.
  2. Bucks C John Henson is 16-of-22 from the floor during his last five games.
  3. Rose averaged 19 points and a team-high 6.5 assists in the six-game playoff series against Milwaukee.

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Los Angeles Clippers at Chicago Bulls

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It’s a cross conference match as the Chicago Bulls host the Los Angeles Clippers at the United Center in the regular season of the National Basketball Association.

The match is on December 10, 2015 at 8:00 PM ET.

At the moment, both teams are doing fairly well but underperforming given their star status as the Bulls are at 11-8 to place third in the Central Division in the Eastern Conference.

On the other hand, the Clippers are at 13-9 to place second in the Pacific Division in the Western Conference.

Both teams are going through differing streaks at the moment as the Clippers are on a winning streak and are trying to keep their current road trip spotless with another win against the Bulls.

Against Chicago, it is the third road game in a row for Los Angeles following wins against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks.

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The Los Angeles Clippers look to keep rolling after winning six of their last seven games. The Los Angeles Clippers are averaging 103.1 points on 45.8 percent shooting and allowing 102 points on 43.4 percent shooting. Blake Griffin is averaging 24.4 points and 8.6 rebounds while Chris Paul is averaging 16.8 points and 8.1 assists. Jamal Crawford is dishing 2.5 assists and DeAndre Jordan is grabbing 13.1 rebounds. The Los Angeles Clippers are shooting 32.6 percent from beyond the arc and 67.8 percent from the free throw line. The Clippers are coming off a Wednesday victory to the Bucks in which they shot 46.9 percent from the field and had 14 turnovers. The Los Angeles Clippers have won three straight road games.

The Chicago Bulls could use a nice home victory after losing their last three games. The Chicago Bulls are averaging 98.8 points on 42.3 percent shooting and allowing 98.3 points on 41.1 percent shooting. Jimmy Butler is averaging 20.4 points and 5.2 rebounds while Pau Gasol is averaging 14.8 points and 10.8 rebounds. Derrick Rose is dishing 5.9 assists and Nikola Mirotic is grabbing 6.3 rebounds. The Chicago Bulls are shooting 37.3 percent from beyond the arc and 75.1 percent from the free throw line. The Bulls are coming off a Wednesday loss to the Celtics in which they shot 42.9 percent from the field and had 16 turnovers. The Chicago Bulls have won six of their last nine home games.

The Clippers are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. Eastern Conference and 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 road games. The Bulls are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games playing on 0 days rest and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games. The Clippers are 5-0 ATS in the last 5 meetings in Chicago and 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings overall.

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Chicago Bulls at Portland Trail Blazers

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The Portland Trail Blazers (6-9) face off against the Chicago Bulls (8-4) tonight in the Moda Center at 7:00 PM.

The Blazers will look to win their third straight game after beating both Los Angeles teams over the weekend. The Bulls are hoping to get back on track after a 106-94 loss to the undefeated Golden State Warriors on Friday. Prior to that game, the Bulls had four consecutive victories.

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About the Bulls: 

  • Chicago saw a four-game winning streak end Friday night, when it lost 106-94 to the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. Jimmy Butler finished with 28 points and seven assists and Pau Gasol added 14 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in the loss
  • The Bulls played without point guard Derrick Rose, who was sidelined with a sprained left ankle. After missing the last two games, the former MVP is expected to return against the Blazers. The oft-injured All-Star already was playing with a protective mask because he fractured an orbital bone during training camp.
  • Rose had played in the Bulls’ first 10 games of the season.
  • The Bulls have been one of the NBA’s best early-season defensive teams. They rank second in field goal defense, holding opponents to 41.1 percent shooting, and second in effective field goal defense (45.7 percent
  • Joakim Noah needs 619 rebounds and 37 offensive rebounds to become the franchise leader in both categories. Michael Jordan is the Bulls’ all-time rebounding leader (5,836) and Horace Grant is the all-time offensive rebounding leader (1,888).

About the Blazers:

  • After dropping seven in a row, the Blazers have won their last two. The most recent came Sunday night in Los Angeles, where they defeated the Lakers 107-93.
  • Point guard Damian Lillard recorded 30 points, a career-high 13 assists and six rebounds in the win.
  • Lillard ranks among the NBA’s top 10 in scoring (fifth, 25.5 points per game) and assists (tied for seventh, 7.1 per game) and ranks second in 20-point, five-rebound games with 12.
  • Center Mason Plumlee finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds against the Lakes, recording a double-double for the second consecutive game. It’s just the fourth time in his career he’s logged double-doubles in consecutive games. … Plumlee, who is shooting 59 percent this season, ranks third in the NBA in field goal shooting.
  • Lillard and fellow backcourt mate CJ McCollum are averaging 45.6 points per game, the third-highest of any duo in the NBA.

In ATS trends, the Bulls are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games following a loss of more than 10 points and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games overall, while the Blazers are 4-12-1 ATS in their last 17 games against a team with a winning record and 0-6 ATS in their last six against the Eastern Conference.

Head to head, the Bulls are 2-6 ATS in the last eight meetings overall and just 1-5 ATS in the last six meetings in Portland.

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Chicago Bulls vs Charlotte Hornets

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Chicago Bulls (3-1) at Charlotte Hornets (0-3)
NBA Basketball: Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at 7:00 pm (Time Warner Cable Arena)
The Line: Charlotte Hornets +4 — Over/Under: 193

The Chicago Bulls look for their second road win to get off to a fast 4-1 start. The Chicago Bulls are averaging 99.5 points on 43.5 percent shooting and allowing 95 points on 39.6 percent shooting. Jimmy Butler is averaging 19.5 points and six rebounds while Nikola Mirotic is averaging 18.8 points and 6.8 rebounds. Pau Gasol is grabbing 7.8 rebounds and Derrick Rose is dishing 5.5 assists. The Chicago Bulls are allowing just 24.7 percent shooting from deep and have won 11 of their last 14 regular season games when allowing less than 100 points. The Bulls are playing as well as you could have hoped under new coach Fred Hoiberg. Kirk Hinrich is questionable with a toe injury.

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The Charlotte Hornets need a win after a tough 0-3 start to the year. The Charlotte Hornets are averaging 93.3 points on 39.1 percent shooting and allowing 98.3 points on 44.7 percent shooting. Kemba Walker is averaging 16.3 points and 5.3 assists while Nicolas Batum is averaging 13 points and 7.3 rebounds. Marvin Williams is grabbing nine rebounds and Jeremy Lin is dishing 3.3 assists. The Charlotte Hornets are getting just 58.7 points from their starters and are one of six teams that is shooting under 40 percent. The offensive struggles for the Hornets have clearly carried over from last season. The good news is that four of the Hornets last five wins have come on their home court.

The Bulls are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Hornets are 3-0-1 ATS in their last 4 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Bulls are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Charlotte.

Pay attention to Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes in this game, too. Kaminsky, despite limited playing time so far, has almost unquestionably played better than Hawes so far, and it’s only a matter of time before the rookie overtakes the veteran in minutes. There might not be a better time to illustrate the difference between the player’s abilities early in the season than this game, where athletic big men will have to play a large role no matter what.

The Hornets have played well so far, but not well enough to earn a win just yet. Despite playing against perhaps the biggest challenger for the Eastern Conference title, the Hornets will have a pretty good shot to get their first win of the season on their home court.

Observations

▪  Bulls big man Joakim Noah has bought into coming off the bench, which allows the Bulls to start Nikola Mirotic at power forward, where he’s is a classic “stretch 4.”

▪  If the Hornets don’t win tonight, there is a distinct possibility they could start the season 0-6, facing a tough trip to Dallas and San Antonio.

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