No Zach-to-backs: Bulls have recovering LaVine sit against Nets

SHARE No Zach-to-backs: Bulls have recovering LaVine sit against Nets
screen_shot_2018_02_26_at_11_04_58_pm.png

David Nwaba, who started for the Bulls and had six points and six rebounds, works against Nets guard D’Angelo Russell in the fourth quarter Monday. | Abbie Parr/Getty Images

NEW YORK — Zach LaVine didn’t play Monday against the Nets as part of the Bulls’ plan to avoid having him play in back-to-back games in his rehab from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

He’ll play against the Hornets in Charlotte on Tuesday. That way he won’t have three days off before playing against the Mavericks on Friday at the United Center.

RELATED STORIES With Zach LaVine sitting out, lowly Bulls fall to lowlier Nets 104-87 Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen has hit the rookie wall

“He’s a competitor, and he wants to be out there,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “So it’s tough [to tell him he’s sitting], and he feels great. But he understands. He’s still very early in the rehab process. The important thing is [that] he goes into the offseason healthy and has a great summer and a full training camp and can get off to a great start next year.”

Justin Holiday started in LaVine’s place against the Nets.

Vote of confidence

Denzel Valentine started in place of LaVine against the Wizards when LaVine sat out the second game of a back-to-back Feb. 10. But Valentine came off the bench this time. It’s a role he has thrived in.

“The thing Denzel gives you with that second group [is] a playmaker,” Hoiberg said. “In conversations with John [Paxson] and Gar [Forman] about who is going to fit long term, Denzel has shown that he can be a very valuable member of this team, especially in the role he’s playing right now.”

Okafor down, not out

Chicagoan Jahlil Okafor, the pride of Whitney Young, was a “victim of circumstance” in losing his rotation spot during the Nets’ eight-game skid, coach Kenny Atkinson said.

“I can’t say I’m disappointed; I really like having him around,” Atkinson said. “His attitude’s been great. That’s important. It’s circumstances. It’s opportunity. I wouldn’t count him out.”

Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

The Latest
The awards recognize “journalism that best covers the Black experience or addresses issues affecting the worldwide Black community.”
The Cubs claimed Reyes off waivers from the Guardians and optioned Frank Schwindel to Triple-A Iowa to clear space on the active roster.
The start of the new school year is an opportunity to recommit ourselves to those efforts. A recent report by the Illinois State Board of Education found roughly 5,300 unfilled positions at Illinois schools, including more than 1,000 openings at CPS.
What’s ground-breaking here is Chicago is using its buying power to help build renewable energy generation that otherwise might never have moved off the drawing boards.
It’s past due for La Russa to step forward as the manager he used to be, but it isn’t too late.