PORTLAND, Ore. — Plagued by inconsistency, guard Zach LaVine provided some glimpses of greatness through his first eight games, but not enough of them.
Coach Fred Hoiberg was hoping to get more from LaVine on the Bulls’ three-game trip, and he got his wish Wednesday.
LaVine went 8-for-13 from the field and had a team-high 23 points in the Bulls’ 124-108 loss to the Trail Blazers.
“The good thing is we’ve had two days of practice, and we’ve played a lot,’’ Hoiberg said Wednesday.
LaVine needed the practices because he entered the game shooting 5-for-28 in his last two games and looking indecisive. Hoiberg wants LaVine to be more aggressive.
“We’ve gone up and down, had really good scrimmage situations with our team,’’ Hoiberg said. “We’ve had good, competitive, hard practices the last two days, and Zach needs that. He needs to continue to get reps with our guys so that he can get used to them, and they can get used to him as we move forward.
“We need him to use his athletic talents to get out and run and hopefully get something easy by attacking the basket. We can’t settle for those tough, contested shots, which we’re taking too often. Not just Zach, but everybody as a whole. We need Zach to progress and hopefully continue to get his rhythm back, get his timing back.’’
Before the recent two-game slump, LaVine was coming off back-to-back games in which he combined to go 15-for-30 from the field.
Point guard Kris Dunn stayed in Chicago, dealing with an illness, Hoiberg said. He missed his sixth consecutive game since falling on his face against the Warriors and going into the concussion protocol. Hoiberg was still unsure about when and if Dunn would rejoin the team.
Rookie forward Lauri Markkanen was away from the team for personal reasons. The hope was to have him back at some point on this trip, but that also remained uncertain.
With Dunn and Markkanen absent, the Bulls were down two starters and missing almost 29 points per game.
New radio home
The Bulls announced that their games will be broadcast on WSCR-AM (670), effective Saturday.
The team’s previous radio home, WLS-AM (890), announced it needed to end its contract.
Its parent company, Cumulus Media, filed for bankruptcy in late 2017.
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