Bulls’ Zach LaVine does some finger-pointing after loss, including at himself
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DALLAS — Bulls guard Zach LaVine wants better results. He’s all but demanding better results.
After the Bulls’ 115-109 loss Monday to the Mavericks, LaVine was holding himself and everyone else accountable.
LaVine, who scored 34 points, was asked about coach Fred Hoiberg’s assessment that the players lost their composure in the second half. Not only did he initially disagree with that, but he said he didn’t think the right sets were being called.
‘‘We gotta run the right sets out there,’’ LaVine said. ‘‘That was the main thing. If we would have run the right plays, got the ball to the right people, I think we would have been all right.’’
Asked whether he had a good enough relationship with Hoiberg to tell him he didn’t like what was being called, LaVine said: ‘‘I let him coach. I let him coach. I may say, ‘Hey, let me get the ball here,’ or talk to [point guard Kris Dunn]. . . . I let him coach, and I expect the same thing [from them]. They let us play.
‘‘That’s our job — to go out there and play. Their job is to coach. Regardless of whatever the play-call is, we’ve got to be able to do it. We’ve got the right personnel out there, we’ve got good enough players, so we should be able to do it.
‘‘I’m not putting it on Fred. We have to figure it out. You can tell I’m upset. We lost, and I think we could’ve won. We have to figure out how to win.’’
LaVine also seemed confused by the change of defense from the first half to the second, saying: ‘‘We were playing free [in the first half]. We weren’t coming down and being stagnant. We weren’t calling a lot of plays. We were just coming down and being free and being aggressive. And then . . . we went to the blitz on their pick-and-rolls, and that mucked up a lot of things. We changed in the second half, so that hurt us. We just can’t keep making the same mistakes, especially on defense.’’
LaVine doesn’t have the reputation as a player who rocks the boat, so the emotion of an 0-3 start has to be factored in.
He did look in the mirror, though, eventually circling back to Hoiberg’s assessment about composure and pointing the finger at himself. Yes, he should have been given more than three shots in the fourth quarter, especially with the hot hand, but he also pointed to his three turnovers.
‘‘I can see why he said we lost our composure,’’ LaVine said. ‘‘When we get down, as competitors — I speak for me — I want to try to make a play. I might even try to force the issue. And it might not be the right thing to do. There might have been some no-pass shots or some forced action that led to a turnover.’’
Almost lost in LaVine’s night was the return of Dunn, who missed the Bulls’ first two games for the birth of his first child, Lennox. He finished with nine points on 4-for-13 shooting and seven assists before fouling out in the fourth.
‘‘To be honest, I wish I was out there the first two games,’’ Dunn said. ‘‘I love to compete, I love to play the game, I love being around my guys.’’