Zach LaVine made his return on Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets. LaVine came off the bench and played 30 minutes, scoring 15 points on 6-11 shooting from the field, but he shot just 1-5 from 3-point range. Billy Donovan stated pregame that LaVine would be on a minutes restriction, but he still went on to play 30 minutes off the bench. The Bulls played well in the absence of Zach LaVine; they are now 7-5 in their last 12 games. The team should continue their hot stretch if LaVine can fit into the improved Bulls system. A dynamic player who consistently scores at three levels would elevate the Bulls team. On the season, LaVine shoots 44.7% from the field and 33% from beyond the arch. These numbers must be elevated if the Bulls are shooting for the playoffs.
Nikola Vucevic also made his return on Friday night. Vucevic, also on a minutes restriction, played 25 minutes off the bench and scored 11 points on 5-12 shooting from the field. Billy Donovan will have a tough choice regarding the minutes at the center position. In the six games that Drummond has started this season, he is averaging 12.8 points, 17.8 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.7 steals per game. Unfortunately, he shot just 39% from the free throw line in those games. Despite his poor performances at the line, Drummond has impacted the Bulls’ team for the better. Billy Donovan should consider splitting the center minutes equally between Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond. At their best, both players can be nightmares for opposing teams to handle.