LaVine shows speed, impresses in Bulls debut

CHICAGO — On a night where the Bulls were giving away bobbleheads of him to fans at the game, Zach LaVine made his much-anticipated Chicago debut Saturday at the United Center, nearly 11 months after he tore his left ACL with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Second-year point guard Kris Dunn and rookie forward Lauri Markkanen have been pleasant surprises and look like promising young players in head coach Fred Hoiberg‘s system, but LaVine is the most important player on the Bulls and his return is significant to the team’s immediate future and rebuild.

LaVine wasted no time showing off his skillset to the Bulls faithful. He opened up the scoring for the home squad with a catch-and-shoot three from the right wing, displaying no rust or hesitation in his shot.

Hoiberg, the Bulls’ medical staff and front office had to love the burst LaVine had in his first step. LaVine is by far the best scorer and shot creator on the roster and can break his man down from the perimeter without the use of a pick on a regular basis.

The high-flyer’s quickness and finishing ability give Hoiberg, along with Dunn, another guy who can get to the rim at will when the offense slows down and finish in traffic.

Overall, LaVine impressed in his debut. The 22-year-old finished with 14 points while shooting 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc in 19 minutes. LaVine will be on a minutes restriction for at least one week according to Hoiberg.

As far as the game goes, the Bulls beat the Pistons, 107-105, for their 16th win of the season.