Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine should be ashamed of his poor playRyan Heckmanon April 23, 2022 at 1:48 am

After securing a Game 2 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, one would think that the Chicago Bulls came out firing on Friday night to start Game 3.

That notion would be completely and utterly false, as the Bulls came out flat, lethargic and with zero movement on offense to start the game. After huge performances in Game 2 by DeMar DeRozan and Alex Caruso, the Bulls looked lost to begin the first half at home.

One particular guy who needed to come out and establish himself early on is Zach LaVine. After talking quite a bit about how he’s unwilling to back down from anybody and, though this is his first playoff experience, he’s ready, LaVine has looked anything but ready.

A mediocre 18 points in Game 1 followed by 20 in Game 2 saw LaVine take a back seat and fail to be aggressive. Game 3 is where the Bulls needed him to finally assert himself, but he once again decided not to.

The first half of Game 3 was a complete embarrassment for Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine.

Entering halftime down 60-41, LaVine and the Bulls were searching for answers. That first half saw LaVine jogging around to begin the game, with no real purpose. He was anything but aggressive on offense and failed to close out on defense multiple times.

When LaVine actually got the ball, his first instinct was to take a dribble or two towards the hoop and then pass. Instead of driving the lane and going up strong, LaVine instead became passive on almost every possession. He passed, passed and then passed some more.

LaVine went into the locker room with a -19 plus/minus for the first half — an abysmal performance, and that’s putting it nicely. LaVine shot 3-for-9 from the field and on mostly jumpers — again, no aggression. No assertion.

If the Bulls are to have any shot at this series, let alone making this a game in the second half, they will need LaVine to finally step up and play some ball.

If he doesn’t, then the Bulls are going to have a very difficult decision to make this summer when LaVine hits free agency. The way he’s been playing as of late, LaVine is far from a max player — zero chance he deserves that kind of money.

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