To start or not to start remains the question with Zach LaVine’s Bulls debut

NEW YORK – The countdown on the Zach LaVine debut continued winding down towards Saturday.

Until then, however, it’s just more teases Fred Hoiberg has to endure.

The coach relayed a story from the Tuesday practice in which LaVine got the ball, beat all nine guys up the floor with his speed, and finished the possession with a dunk.

Just another reminder of what’s coming.

“Two fast-paced guards that are both attack players, and I do think they’ll play well off of each other,” Hoiberg said on Wednesday, when discussing what the backcourt of LaVine and Kris Dunn will look like eventually. “[LaVine’s] overall speed really fits with Kris Dunn, and to get out and run on the break is something we want to do a lot of. Try to attack early in possessions before the defense can get set, and I think both of those guys that’s a big strength of theirs, and I think they will play well off of each other.”

What remains to be determined is when do they get that opportunity?

Yes, the team announced on Tuesday that LaVine’s debut from February left anterior cruciate ligament surgery would be against Detroit on Saturday, and he would be restricted to just 20 minutes, but does he start or come off the bench?

According to Hoiberg, that was yet to be determined, and would be discussed over “the next couple of days.”

What Hoiberg did reiterate is that LaVine better be ready to run with both the starters and reserves because there’s a chance that as his minutes increase he could see time at the point guard position with that second unit.

“The last month he’s been practicing with both teams, and we’re continuing to do that,” Hoiberg said. “He’s got to be ready to play with both groups. There may be stretches where we play Zach with the ball in his hands, and again, we’ll get that all figured out the next couple days.”

In that scenario, Jerian Grant would play off the ball, and it would also give LaVine a chance to be teamed with the ultra-athletic David Nwaba.

LaVine wasn’t going to get too wrapped up in who he plays with come Saturday. He’s just thrilled to be playing again.

“That’s for the coaches to manage,” LaVine said. “That’s something that’s outside of my realm. I’m going to go out there and play the 20 minutes or whatever it is without thinking about that restriction at the end. I feel like that’s more for them to manage and for me to go out there and play and perform.”

Dead topic

Nikola Mirotic isn’t the only Bulls player that could draw trade interest. There’s also big man Robin Lopez and possibly Justin Holiday if a team needs a rotation wing player.

Just don’t ask VP of basketball operations John Paxson about the Feb. 8 trade deadline.

“Not even going to comment on that stuff,” Paxson said. “It’s a month away and we’ll see where it goes.”

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Source:: Chicago Sun-Times – Sports


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