CHICAGO – Working back from knee surgery always takes time for any player, and that’s the case for the Bulls’ two-time All-Star guard.
Early in the 2022-2023 season, Zach LaVine had not taken part in both games of the two “back-to-backs” as he continues to get his surgically repaired left knee back to full health.
But this week, the guard decided to give it a try as he took the floor for both Tuesday’s game against the Nets in Brooklyn and then Wednesday’s contest against the Hornets at the United Center.
LaVine played 32 minutes against Charlotte in a 106-88 victory that put the Bulls over the .500 mark at 5-4. While it was far from his best shooting night, he didn’t feel bad after the game in his first back-to-back test of the season.
“I felt good,” said LaVine when asked how he felt during the game Wednesday evening. “My legs were tired, a couple of my shots were short. But it was one of those games, one of these you had to go down and get. It was an ugly game, dirty game, but we ended up winning by 20 points and our two best players shot the ball terrible.
“I don’t think we played bad at all, we just didn’t shoot the ball well, so if we can win games like that, I think we’re going to be fine.”
The guard wasn’t on the mark with his shots on Wednesday as he went 4-for-16 from the field and scored just ten points, easily his lowest output of the season. DeRozan was just 2-of-11 for nine points yet the Bulls won easily thanks to 49 points from the bench.
It was a much different game for LaVine than the one he played on Tuesday, when the guard scored 29 points and finished with 20 in the final quarter where he shot 6-of-10 from the field. He did contribute six assists and four rebounds to the effort Wednesday, which like the game in Brooklyn, finished with a Bulls’ victory.
So how does LaVine manage the knee for the rest of the season, knowing there are still 73 games to be played?
“The same thing we’ve been doing,” said LaVine when asked that Wednesday night. “Been playing well, at this point my knee’s been feeling well,” said LaVine. “Nothing new or nothing tricky, just stay off it when you have off days, have some ice, activate, and be ready to play when it’s game day.”