NBA

‘It sucks’: Zach Lavine after losing to Pistons despite putting in career-high 51-point performance

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This past weekend, Zach LaVine produced the first 50+ point performance of the 2023/24 NBA campaign after an impressive display for the Bulls. However, it still wasn’t enough to win against the Pistons, who beat his squad 118 to 102. 

The Chicago star dropped in 19 out of his 33 field goals, including seven shots beyond the arc which became his new individual scoring record. Nevertheless, the NBA is about winning and the 28-year-old wasn’t too happy after the contest, considering the Illinois franchise was forced down to a 1-2 loss in the Little Caesars Arena.

“I wasn’t happy with the way I was performing and the way the offense was looking,”the two-time NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner expressed after the classic Eastern Conference matchup. “It’s upsetting you have a performance like that and lose. It sucks.”

LaVine is currently playing his 10th NBA season and his seventh in Chicago, averaging above 20 points per game throughout his career. The UCLA product doesn’t want another mediocre campaign for his franchise, and guarantees that they are putting up the work.

“We don’t want this to snowball where we have our backs against the wall,” assured LaVine. “We are working every day. We have to figure it out.”

The Bulls are currently on their first three-game road trip of the season, and will take on the Indiana Pacers on Monday and then the Dallas Mavericks two days later. “We’re trying this new thing out to have a complete, cohesive offense with equal opportunity,” Zach shared.

“It’s going to take some figuring out. Preseason looked good. But preseason is preseason,” the shooting guard added. “We got a lot of our stuff (earlier) in transition. Throughout the first couple of games, me and DeMar (DeRozan) were in the corner a lot. Now we’re trying to figure out how to get involved with more touches. But we all have to figure out how to help each other. It has to work like a well-oiled machine.”

Coach Billy Donovan was marveled of his star player’s exhibition this weekend and believes that the key to winning is about sustaining the momentum

Chicago coach Billy Donovan couldn’t help but be impressed by how effortless LaVine’s shots seemed to go in against Detroit, especially when he dropped 19 of his team’s 26 first-quarter points, and then added 20 more only in the third.

“For him to do what he did scoring wise is incredibly remarkable. He is such a pronounced scorer and teams are putting him on the top of every scouting report. But we still lost by double digits,” he noted. “We’ve got to be able to play in a way where it flows. Zach got it going early and it kept us hanging around, but we’ve got to have it sustained where guys keep trusting the pass, trusting each other, trusting the ball movement and trusting guys when they are open.”

The Bulls trainer noticed that the team isn’t playing as a whole, and insisted how the squad needs to follow the same vision on court for it to truly flow in their favor.

“We should know what’s not going to work, (which is) holding the basketball, not moving the basketball, not playing downhill, not getting to the free throw line, not getting to offensive rebounds,” Donovan explained. “We have to be able to if we want to be the team we are trying to become. There needs to be a unified vision of how you play, there has to be a unified style that for our group gives us the best chance to be successful, and that’s where our focus has to be.”