Zach LaVine has two practices down and four to go before decision time

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WASHINGTON — Zach LaVine finally has two consecutive practices under his belt.

“This is the start of a training-camp-type workload for Zach with consecutive days of contact,’’ coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’ll get another good one [Monday]. The good thing is Windy City has a good little stretch here where they don’t play. They’ll be able to go hard, and Zach will play a big part in those practices.’’

LaVine practiced with the Bulls on Saturday, then started the first of four in a row with the G League Windy City Bulls on Sunday.

He’ll finish with the NBA team Thursday, and then it’s decision time.

The organization will decide if he’s ready to take the court for a regular-season game after surgery last February to repair a tear of his left anterior cruciate ligament.


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“Now that he’s able to string together consecutive days of contact, it’s a really important stretch,’’ Hoiberg said. “You don’t want to get too far ahead of it, but if he responds well to this stretch where he’s going through long practices, this is his training camp.

‘‘If he does well through this stretch, we’ll all get in a room and put a plan together as far as when we want to see him back on the floor and how many minutes he’ll play initially when he’s ready to come back.

“These six days will tell us a lot, if he’s ready or if he needs a little more time.’’

There’s still a good chance that LaVine could play multiple games for Windy City, so even if he does get the thumbs-up next week, it doesn’t mean he’ll immediately be making his Bulls debut.

“Full on, full blast,’’ LaVine said when asked what he expected of the six-day marathon. “I expect to be sore. If I’m not sore, I wasn’t going hard enough. They’re calling it my training camp, so I should be pretty damn sore.

“I’m starting to understand my body a lot more, understanding pain, soreness, different feelings you’re not supposed to feel and then things that are normal for your body. So I’ll judge that, but I think I’ll be all right.’’

Making a point

Point guard Kris Dunn returned to the starting lineup against the Wizards after missing a game with tendinitis in his left knee. Not that he was overly concerned with the injury.

Dunn said he went through a similar situation in high school, so he felt confident that it was a small speed bump.

“I know it’s a normal situation,’’ Dunn said. “I had it in high school. Just a lot of minutes I’m not used to playing last year to this year. Just something I’ve got to adjust to.’’

Follow me on Twitter @suntimes_hoops.


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