The Bulls backcourt of Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine have some serious hoop dreams
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kris Dunn didn’t back down from the idea that the game against the Warriors on Friday would be a measuring stick.
Go ahead and snap that measuring stick.
By the end of the first quarter, it became pretty clear just how much work the Bulls’ young backcourt of Dunn and Zach LaVine has to do even to be mentioned in the same breath as the Warriors’ duo.
Stephen Curry scored 28 points and passed Jason Terry for third on the career three-pointers list, while Klay Thompson scored 30 as the Warriors humiliated the Bulls for the second time this season with a 146-109 beatdown at Oracle Arena.
Curry and Thompson put up those numbers even though each played less than 27 minutes.
As for Dunn and LaVine?
LaVine woke up after a first quarter in which the Bulls trailed 43-17 to finish with 29 points, but Dunn was taken to school, finishing with just six points and a
plus/minus of minus-45.
“It didn’t come easy for them,’’ Dunn said of Curry and Thompson becoming the gold standard. “It took time for them, too. When they first came in the league, they weren’t as talked about as much as other guys were, but they kept working, they kept building that chemistry, and now look where they are. They built a championship team over there, and right now they’re hot. They’ve got the game on smash and you’ve got to go in there and compete.’’
Something the Bulls and their backcourt didn’t do Friday.
Even more disappointing than the final score was how both Dunn and LaVine seemed ready to step up to the challenge. They both had been playing well and were both relatively healthy.
“I know I’m not going to go out there and just lay down,’’ LaVine said.
But Curry and Thompson simply buried the Bulls’ duo.
Before the game, coach Jim Boylen didn’t hesitate when asked if he was sold on Dunn and LaVine.
“I am,’’ Boylen said. “I think we’ve had multiple examples and multiple possessions where they’ve kind of played off each other. The one thing is you’re hard to guard when you have multiple ball-handlers and they both can handle the ball, they both can initiate the offense, they both can complete an offense, they both can receive, so I like that versatility.’’
Boylen said that he has had frequent talks with both general manager Gar Forman and VP of basketball operations John Paxson lately, but those talks have not included any trade possibilities.
“I’ve been focused on coaching the team, focused on getting every ounce of development, learning out of our practices,’’ Boylen said. “I do talk to them about our team. The things I like, the things we’re working on, the things we have to do better, but I have not had discussions on the phone work or those other things.’’
The Sun-Times has reported that the team is shopping Robin Lopez and Jabari Parker as they continue to try to collect draft assets.
• Lauri Markkanen has to be better
Boylen said he always was aware of how lethal a passer Warriors big man Draymond Green was, especially because he recruited him back in Boylen’s Michigan State days.
“People don’t realize that, but he was a point guard at his high school,’’ Boylen said. “When he was a sophomore they started him at point, so he’s a skilled guy and a willing passer.’’