It’s not close. It’s not up for debate. Regardless of how the actual All Star reserve voting turns out, LaVine has cemented himself in what matters: the numbers.
They don’t lie. LaVine is, in fact, an elite player in this league. There’s no more wondering whether or not he can carry the load. This 25-year-old guard out of UCLA has blossomed into one of the NBA’s very best.
In a win over the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night, LaVine once again went nuclear. His big night was capped off by a dagger with under 20 seconds left in the game, ensuring the Kings had no shot to come back and win the game.
Zach LaVine tonight:
— 38 PTS
— 15-20 FG
— 3-6 3 PT
— Dagger pic.twitter.com/DvVTAvZ0lm
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 21, 2021
This performance came a night after LaVine shot just 9-for-28 against the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia 76ers, but still getting to the free throw line enough to pour in a 30-point effort. Against the Kings, LaVine made sure his buckets dropped. The efficiency was out-of-this-world. 75 percent shooting with 20 attempts from the floor? Not a bad night.
After the game against the Kings, the Bulls guard had completed an incredible couple of weeks.
In his last 10 games, LaVine is amidst arguably his best stretch as a pro. He’s averaging 33.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists.
Even before his latest outpouring over the Kings, LaVine was on a tear. In fact, his season is in the midst of going down as historic — not just great, but historic.
In NBA history, there have only been four players ever to average at least 28 points, five assists and five rebounds while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from three-point range.
Stephen Curry did it in 2015-2016. Kevin Durant is doing it this season. Larry Bird has done it three times.
Then, there’s LaVine in this wild 2020-2021 campaign. That’s it. As they say, “that’s the list.”
First of all, the All Star Game would mean the world to LaVine. He’s said it would be “deserving” for him to get in. While everyone would agree, the All Star Game is just the tip of the iceberg for this guy. What he’s doing is going down as one of the single-greatest seasons of all-time.
LaVine told ESPN the other day that he’s just gotten comfortable. The game has definitely slowed down for him. The next step, however, is getting this team to the playoffs. That’s his focus.
As much as we’ve discussed rumors of LaVine being traded over the years, it’s certainly time to believe this guy is sticking around for the long haul. He wants to win. He loves Chicago, and he’s out to continue proving he’s one of the league’s best.