Inside the Numbers: Zach LaVine
The 2021 NBA All-Star Game will take place on Sunday, March 7, 2021, and both rosters are stacked with dynamic playmakers for their respective teams, one of those playmakers is Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls. Let’s look at how his historic season earned him an All-Star spot in 2021.
LaVine, a first time All-Star, came off a season where he averaged a career-high 25.5 points per contest, establishing himself as more than just a sky dweller. This year his game has evolved to a new level. At 25 years-old, LaVine is 6th in the league in scoring at 28.7 points per contest, while being one of the most efficient in the league, shooting 52.5 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from three, and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe. LaVine is flirting with the opportunity to become the 9th player in NBA history to join the 50-40-90 club. LaVine is also on pace to set career highs in assists and rebounds, averaging over 5 in each category.
Only 34 games into the NBA season, LaVine already has 17 games over 30+ points, 2 away from a career high he set last year. LaVine has shown that he is capable of putting up numbers against any squad, having some of his best scoring outputs against playoff-caliber teams this season, including 45 against the LA Clippers, 38 against the LA Lakers, and 30 against Philadelphia (all on the road). LaVine has also had a game this season where he shot an absurd 75 percent from the field and 50 percent from three in a 38 point outing against Sacramento. LaVine’s historic play has motivated his teammates. Teammates Coby White and Lauri Markkanen are having career years as well, with White averaging over 16 points this year and Markkanen averaging nearly 20.
The Chicago Bulls have exceeded expectations this year, tied with the Toronto Raptors for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with a record of 16-18. LaVine’s explosive and efficient style of play has played a huge role in where the Bulls sit in the standings heading into the All-Star break and have caught the attention from superstars like Phoenix Suns' guard Chris Paul, who said: “Zach Lavine nice as hell”. Chicago still has 38 games to go in the shortened 72 game season, but if LaVine could continue to put up outlandish numbers, Chicago could clinch the playoffs for the first time in 3 years.