Zach Lavine is a legitimate scoring machine that can’t be stopped. But his game hasn’t overshadowed the growth of Wendell Carter.

All of the haters can now shut their mouths. Zach Lavine is not only fully back from his injury. He is also playing the best basketball of his young career.

There were many who doubted the Bulls decision to match the lucrative offer sheet that the Kings signed Lavine to. Afterall, the year prior to Lavine’s knee injury had only shown glimpses of him being an elite scorer. And not much after that. Lavine provided no defensive instincts, showed little signs of making his teammates better, with many questioning his overall value.

The question always remained of whether Lavine could transform his game to being more than a highlight reeling dunker. Well Lavine so far is putting any doubts to rest.

Lavine’s  averages of 28.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists per game on 51.0 percent shooting from the field and 38.0 percent shooting from 3-point range are staggering. He’s shown an ability to recognize mismatches. He’s been getting his teammates involved which has fostered his drive to become a well rounded player.

But Lavine isn’t the only Bull to show improvements in his game by leaps and bounds. Wendell Carter is making his case as well to not be seen as an afterthought on the offensive side of the ball. The rookie established himself in the preseason, beating out veteran Robin Lopez in training camp.

Carter, who admittedly focused on the defensive side of the ball, has seen an uptick in his offensive chances when given the opportunity. With Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, Bobby Portis, and Denzel Valentine among the walking wounded, the rookie has seen more touches in the post and from the outside. And he has taken more of an aggressive approach in his last 3 games.

Carter scored 10 points in a victory vs. the Hawks, 18 in a blowout loss to the Warriors, and a career best 25 against the Nuggets.

For Carter to truly be successful, he has to take caution to the wind and stop focusing on not making mistakes.

There is no harsher of a critic than Carter is on himself. He hates making mistakes as you can see on his face when he’s headed back to the bench because of early foul trouble.

But Carter also knows that the injury situation that the Bulls find themselves in means they will need to lean on him more. Carter admitted as much, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

He stated, “With the players out, I have to do a lot of things that other rookies don’t have to do for their team right now,” Carter said. “I don’t appreciate it. But I’m just blessed to be in that position where I can grow faster and help the team later on down the line.” “With a lot of our players out, I’m trying to pick up a little bit of the slack on the offensive end. My teammates are having more faith in me. They’re hitting me when I’m open, knowing I can knock down a couple shots. I feel I’m a really good post player. My teammates and I are starting to get a feel for each other and where I like to get my shots from.”

Despite the adversity this roster has faced, it’s nice to have a young player that’s buying into the system. And at the ripe old age of 19, his broad shoulders seem up for the challenge.


Videos: FreeDawkins

Photo: nbcsports.com

2 Comments

  1. Bill

    November 2, 2018 at 7:28 PM

    Disagree. Signing LaVine for all the money was not smart. If he was a complete player then yes but he scores and thats it. He D is a joke as is most of the Bulls. His signing as was Parker just another example of how Gar/Pax should be gone as well as that ” college” coach we have.

    • Justin

      November 3, 2018 at 12:46 PM

      You sign him based off of what you believe he can turn in to. Lavine is putting up numbers at an electric pace and is showing himself to be a cornerstone moving forward. Besides his scoring, his defensive awareness has improved and he’s only 24 so there is room to grow.

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