The Bulls participated in a basketball game against the Nuggets on Wednesday night. They made four early 3-pointers and then got their ass kicked the rest of the way. Denver scored 77 points in the first half and finished with 135 for the game in a 33-point win. And that’s all I have to say about that.
The more interesting news to emanate from the Bulls today came in the form of a Zach LaVine update:
Bulls plan regarding LaVine: Re-evaluate him in 5-7 days. Decision will be made then whether to shut him down for season, a real possibility.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 21, 2018
LaVine has been dealing with tendinitis in his surgically repaired left knee and has missed the last two games. The Bulls have two more games this week and then the Rockets next Tuesday before the end of that five-to-seven day timeframe is up. If he misses all three of those games, there will then be eight games left in the season.
This isn’t exactly an ideal scenario for LaVine as the Bulls try to gain as much info as possible on him before spending gobs of money to keep him this summer. He has shown flashes of being a stud, but there has been more bad than good. That isn’t that big of a surprise given his situation coming back from a torn ACL, but again it’s not ideal given the large investment I just assume the Bulls are going to make.
With the season having devolved into a joke, though, it’s probably just best to shut LaVine down. There isn’t much to gain from playing in these worthless games at this point, even if it would be nice to get a few more data points on LaVine.
And piggybacking on that, I’d think long and hard about shutting down Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn as well. The only real point of the rest of this season was to see how the “core” of LaVine, Markkanen and Dunn played together (it hasn’t gone well), so if LaVine gets shut down, why even bother risking the other guys when the Bulls are trying to lose anyway? I know it’s hard to sit these guys if they’re healthy, but at the very least they need to be EXTRA careful.
Markkanen has been dealing with his back problems sporadically throughout the season. Furthermore, the rookie has played a lot of basketball over the past year. He was a key player for Finland at EuroBasket. He played in summer league. He has played over 30 minutes per game with the Bulls this season and shown enough to make me think he’s going to be really good. KC suggested that there’s a chance he plays this weekend, but he definitely won’t be playing both ends of the back-to-back.
Dunn remains in a walking boot because of turf toe. The point guard, who just turned 24, has dealt with a handful of different injuries this season and has appeared in 52 games.