With the latest injury, the Bulls’ star is strapped in for a long ride.

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With the latest injury, the Bulls’ star is strapped in for a long ride.

KC Johnson, a team insider, recently discussed Zach LaVine’s contract predicament with the Chicago Bulls and indicated that the star guard had embraced his role as the franchise’s face. In the early part of the season, that obvious desire to lead and set an example for his teammates has expressed itself in a big way.

LaVine has been playing through a thumb injury on his non-shooting hand for several games now. According to NBC Sports Chicago, the Bulls have classified it a sprain, but the star guard has been forced to play with his thumb heavily bandaged due to a tiny ligament rupture.

Although he has continued to play at a high level — LaVine had 27 points and nine rebounds in a win over the Sixers on Wednesday — the ailment has visibly hampered him at times. LaVine, on the other hand, isn’t moaning; he’s preparing for a long journey.

“It’ll be like this for a while,” LaVine said. “I’m not going to accept any excuses.” It’s just the way it is. And you’re the one who gets to play through it.”

Experiencing the Results

Although he claims the thumb was previously jammed, it was visibly worsened during the Bulls’ win over the Toronto Raptors on October 25. The tape job was put to use the next day.

Since then, LaVine has managed to put up a 26-6-4 record. However, his effectiveness has dwindled. His effective field goal percentage has been in the 40s over the same four-game span, thanks to a 6-for-25 three-point shooting streak.

But it’s not only his perimeter shooting that he’s lost. His decision-making and perseverance in the face of adversity appear to have suffered as well. In Philadelphia, for example, his bad play in the last quarter contributed significantly to Chicago’s second loss.

Johnson made the following observation:

LaVine missed all five attempts, including two 3-pointers, and had two turnovers after checking in with 7 minutes, 15 seconds left and the Bulls trailing 87-85. He dribbled into the face of the defender on multiple occasions, leaving himself with little choices.

“There are two to three occasions every game that LaVine either stares at his left thumb, displays irritation, or makes an adjustment that you’re not used to seeing from someone so great at…,” he continued. Nokia News – Quick Recap

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