63 Comments

Hey YFBB, your imbedded video is of Zach, yes, going 1 on 4 but here he makes the layup. And the Bulls were already down by 20!

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Lavine is the type of player that if you squint your eyes, he looks like Kobe Bryant, Julius Erving, and George Gervin. He's long, fluid, and athletic.

Unfortunately, when you open your eyes fully, you see a player who lacks the intangibles to be fully effective with all of his intrinsic talents. I see a player who doesn't move well without the ball, who doesn't know how to play non-flashy defense, who lacks the vision to create for others, and who's best skills (3 point shooting and athleticism) appear to be in decline.

A future with Zach Lavine as your star player is a horribly bleak future.

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Nov 6, 2023·edited Nov 6, 2023

Zach is an elite scorer. He is also one-dimensional and a poor decision-maker. This kind of player is fine to have if the rest of the roster complements what he does well, but the Bulls don't have that and aren't getting it unless they can somehow miraculously trade for an all-star level PG. We know that's not happening so there is no reason to keep Zach. And if Zach is gone, there is no reason to keep AC or DDR or Vuc or ...

Oddly, this season is making me root for Billy. I don't think he's a great coach, but he's at least OK and Zach's secret wars sneak shots at him over the last 2 seasons are really annoying. Billy isn't telling you not to play defense or drive 1-on-3, dude.

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Really glad GarPax kicked off their rebuild with him. Just don't see how anyone could build around that Jimmy Butler. The gall of him to have standards for his teammates and coaches!

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There is a lot of blame to go around. Zach certainly has his share too. LaVine is everything you said in this piece but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Zach and Vooch have every reason to criticize Billy's offense, the offense sucks! Yes, the Mid-3 don't fit well but there is something to work with. We know Zach doesn't cut but other players can and do. Vooch is a decent passer and has an ok jumper. Having cutters move around him when he has a size advantage should be a basic thing. Instead it's the same 3-man weave to nowhere. No weakside movement no matter who has the ball. DDR is a very good passer and Billy refuses to lean into that skill set. The Bulls are not totally devoid of talent but the offense looks like it is. That's on Billy as much as it's on the players.

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Nov 6, 2023·edited Nov 6, 2023Liked by your friendly BullsBlogger

This team is so bad it's hard for me to play rank choice re: blame.

But, DDR, Vucevic and LaVine have a three-man net rating of -20.8 this year. Last year, it was -0.4. over 1600 minutes. The year before that: -1.1 over 1200 minutes. Think about that for a second.

AKME has almost sixty (60) full, 48-minute game tapes at his disposal wherein the core of his team produces a net negative result on the court. And they, the three highest paid players on the team, have for three consecutive years now sucked hard together.

Aside from Washington (?), they look like the worst team in the league panoramically. That's from a past, present and future state. The past meaning: AKME didn't have to double down on this bad mid-three premise, though he has time and again. The present, meaning the two young guys we're making orbit around that rotting planet of a core suck. I don't care why they suck, and I'm not mad at them about it. But Patrick Williams looks like he's auditioning as an extra in a hostage crisis scene and Coby White is shooting 23 % (!) from outside. And future, meaning: those two are our future. Plus Dalen Terry. And that kid they drafted this year who isn't in the G-League yet, sitting next to Dalen Terry?

So, I blame AKME. He's bad at his job. He's consistently bad at his job. He's working at the margins of this thing, when the body is all fucked up. Appraised value on this junk assemblage of parts is at an all-time low. No amount of Torrey Craig or Jevon Carter in the starting lineup is going to fix any trajectory we have, past, present of future in any meaningful way. If it wasn't for Alex Caruso mad-manning around the court like his dick is on fire, or the general, likeability of DeRozan every time he opens his mouth, I wouldn't have anything nice to say about this team. And most people don't and thus the old and familiar, consuming entrenchment of irrelevancy is here, blanketing a death march again in only game seven of the season.

Aside from that, they're doing great.

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His pre-draft profile noted that he was skinny and frail, lacked defensive effort and was a poor decision-maker. He obviously worked hard to improve his physicality but has done nothing in 9 years to improve the other aspects. Which is either dumb, stubborn or some combination of the two.

Here's something he said to Bontemps in 2014, when asked about his, Towns' and Wiggins' tendency to take turns playing hero ball “I feel like it’s a good and bad thing, because we’re all capable of going and getting us out of funks, and we’re trying to help the team and get us going,” LaVine said. “But sometimes we don’t need that. . ."

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Great article, couldn't agree more. I would also add that in my opinion, Zach is a player that makes his teammates worse, especially if he's the supposedly best player on the team. He's plays lazy if he's not the center of attention for a few possessions.

I for one can't wait for him to be history in Chicago. He should call Harden for tips on how to force his way out. The sooner, the better.

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Yep, bulls suck and there's no path to avoid yet another long and painful rebuild.

I don't see how Acne "wins" any trades for anyone on this roster. Would Hield/Theis be an improvement over Derozan? PW or Caruso for TJ McConnell? Then we'd have our true PG, hooray! Will Trae Young or Ben Simmons be available for Zac at some point? Cleveland takes Derozan for Allen and Okoro/Niang or swaps Vuc for Allen? It all sucks.

Only thing we can do now is dump Donovan and replace him with some kind of bball whisperer who turns the ship around. When does spring training start???

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Zach is a 3rd option you can't trust with the ball in a tight situation. He be good in the Middleton role in Milwaukee or playing 3rd fiddle to Lebron and AD or Booker/KD if Beal continues to sit. But he's not a leader and his ego is obviously inflated. Indeed that is true for the entire big 3. They all have inflated self-worth. The biggest difference is that for 2 years Derozan actually lived up to it.

The story of this team is pretty simple. When the Bulls were rolling, that beautiful fall 3 seasons ago, Derozan was playing like an all-star, Lonzo was playing like the perfect connecting piece, Caruso was Caruso and Zach and Vuc didn't have to do anything but score. They didn't have to make plays for others, or close games, or draw double teams. It was the perfect role for them. Stripped of that protection, of that perfect lack of responsibility, they are exposed to be shallow empty scorers they have been throughout their careers.

Derozan has slowed down. He can no longer carry the team from jump nor be that superstar closer. All the people who wanted him to take a step back - this is what it looks like. You nailed Zach - he hasn't changed, he won't change. Vuc is a guy who has all the skill, but he thinks he better than he is, and his attitude and effort are as bad as Zach's. He pouts on the court. He's an energy vampire. He should be on What We Do in the Shadows. He's good at his job. Bringing him back was subtraction by addition. He wants his touches and won't play hard unless he gets them. There was a sequence where Jokic got 3 rebounds in a row and Vuc was literally standing right there. He didn't move. He was waiting for Jokic to make the shot. You can't win with a guy like that. This team doesn't compete.

Trade these guys. All of them. I knew it was going to be bad if we brought the big 3 back, but I didn't realize how much a such on everyone's spirit Zach and Vuc were going to be. You can't have 2 of your top 3 guys who are low effort, me-first guys, who LACK talent. It won't ever work.

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It's alright cuz I'm saved by the bell.

--Zach

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Obviously this site isn't the place to come for cheerful, half-full, rah rah Bulls homerism. And though I have some issues with some of the negative takes on many current and former players/coaches, this post about Zach is unfortunately about as objectively accurate as they come. I called Zach a "loser" during the Denver game, then had to explain to my son how that wasn't meant as an insult or that he's a bad guy, or even a "bad player," per se. Just that he has an innate inability to execute winning plays on any consistent basis.

On that note, one of the quirks of sports commentary is that while the fundamental reason(s) for a team's struggles are often obvious (like a star being hurt), readers don't want to hear or discuss the same old story day after day, so we look for angles and nuances and intrigue to keep our interests piqued. This or any blog would be boring if every post regurgitated the same points, but that doesn't mean those basic points aren't completely foundational and true.

In my view (looking at this team vs. unwrapping the unflattering history of current ownership/management), these truths are:

1. Zach is a losing player (see yfbb rationale above) who also considers himself our "alpha"

2. Patrick Williams's incremental development was counted upon to elevate the Bulls to the next level, but it's been slow to non-existent

3. This iteration of the Bulls can maybe work with a player like Lonzo Ball on the floor, but Lonzo is hurt and there haven't been any other guys like him emerging internally or via obviously plausible acquisition.

4. These Bulls (missing Ball and with a stagnant PWill) have overlapping strengths -- e.g., high scoring ball-dominant players that don't mesh together -- and overlapping weaknesses like too many bad on-ball defenders backed by inadequate rim protectors.

I'm not saying all other storylines are insignificant, but these problems are so viciously intractable that other concerns pale in importance.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by your friendly BullsBlogger

What I find hilarious reading through these comments is that there are so many takes on different people in this organization being terrible and pretty much all are true. AK, Billy, Zach, Vooch, etc. Each one is bad in their own way and each is an integral part of this organization.

This team is an absolute shit show, and this is the first year I've started embracing it. I've actually sort of enjoyed watching the games because I'm watching them with the intent of watching other good teams play basketball. I hope the ship goes down in flames and everyone goes with it. There's no other way this team gets better.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by your friendly BullsBlogger

Here's one for you to chew on.

The NBA has been tracking charges for the last 9 NBA seasons, which coincides nicely with Zach's career.

According to the NBA, LaVine last drew a charge during the 2021-22 season.

He's never drawn another one in his entire career going back to Minnesota. Career total: 1.

Goran Dragic drew more fouls in his forgettable Chicago Bulls career (2) than Zach has in his entire life.

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Nov 6, 2023Liked by your friendly BullsBlogger

I've always gone back and forth on whether Zach is an empty calories scorer or if that was unfair.

And he simply just is. On a true contender, he is a #3 but the problem is that he is so good of a scorer that his ego wouldn't allow him to play that role. In reality, he should play like Klay and catch and shoot 10 3s a game and attack closeouts when the time is right. He has no business dribbling as much as he does...he's like a taller, unlikable Ben Gordon.

He still is a minus defender...he can be passable on ball when he locks in but that lock-in ebbs and flows so much that he is extremely unreliable and he has no concept of how to play team defense at all.

He is turnover prone due to his slack handles and still can't make plays for others outside the most obvious shit. He doesn't make anyone better around him, doesn't seem to much of a leader or guy that people wanna rally around.

i think most of the league probably sees him as the same so the Bulls aren't gonna get the assets they want or think they can get. What team is gonna give us much of use for a player like that even tho he is a 25+ ppg scorer

I think Dallas was our best chance but they got Kyrie instead. Philly has no reason to get him. Miami already has Herro in house for cheaper so what's the point?

He's a loser point blank.

This team is dead in the water and i honestly don't see a viable escape plan

Even blowing it all up is gonna do what? we'll be back in the Denzel/Bobby Portis/Kris Dunn days.....cuz that was so fun

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