Zach LaVine and Javonte Green Nearing Return

Bulls vs Pistons watch

Getty Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls take on the Detroit Pistons in their season opener.

The Chicago Bulls will be without defensive ace Alex Caruso for 6-to-8 weeks after he broke his wrist from a fall caused by Bucks guard Grayson Allen in Friday’s loss in Milwaukee.

However, help might be on the way soon in the form of Zach LaVine and Javonte Green.

Progressing towards a return

K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago reported on Saturday that the Bulls have upgraded both LaVine and Green to doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Orlando Magic.

To avoid any confusion, neither will play as the two are back in Chicago. Johnson cites that simply not being listed as “out” means both are progressing.

LaVine and Green will make welcomed returns to the Bulls, who suddenly are down another guard once again after Caruso’s injury, when they’re ready.

While both Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu have played a commendable brand of basketball, getting back an elite scorer in LaVine and a highly-energetic defender in Green, will only add some fuel to Chicago’s second half of the season.

LaVine is averaging 24.9 points this season, and the 6-foot-4 Green has a stat line of 5.8 points and 4.2 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game, which doesn’t begin to describe his on-court impact off his energy and athleticism.

Green is a shot-blocking threat who can also play the passing lanes, and the Bulls will rely on him to replace some of Caruso’s defensive impact during the next 6-to-8 weeks.

Picking up the pace in the second half

The Bulls found themselves occupying the first seed in the Eastern Conference going into 2022, and have now moved down to second place due to dropping six of their last eight games. They’re expected to finish second in the Central Division this season, per FanDuel Sportsbook, which likely will get some motivational juices flowing, especially with the return of LaVine who has played brilliantly with DeMar DeRozan.

It’s reasonable to expect the duo to heavily rely on their offensive capabilities, which will be further necessary with starting point guard Lonzo Ball out for an estimated 6-to-8 weeks. The good news for the Bulls is that the LaVine and DeRozan duo has combined for over 50 points per game, which will allow the rest of the team to feed off the attention given to those two.

Add in solid point production from Dosunmu, White and Nikola Vucevic, and the Bulls still have a chance to sit pretty come playoff time.

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