Donovan asks for more catch-and-shoot from LaVine

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • After Zach Lavine scored 30 points in Monday's victory over Toronto, Bulls coach Billy Donovan talked about wanting LaVine to focus on firing jumpers whenever he gets a chance.

    After Zach Lavine scored 30 points in Monday's victory over Toronto, Bulls coach Billy Donovan talked about wanting LaVine to focus on firing jumpers whenever he gets a chance. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 11/8/2022 7:36 PM

Zach LaVine became famous for winning the slam dunk contest twice. He hasn't fared as well in the 3-point contest, but that's what Bulls coach Billy Donovan wants to see.

"When he takes those catch-and-shoot opportunities, as many as he can get, it's great for us," Donovan said after Monday's win over Toronto. "He's as good as anybody in the league when he catches and shoots."

 

LaVine has missed four of the Bulls' 12 games due to recovery maintenance after having left knee surgery in May. So the sample size is small, but according to nba.com, LaVine is shooting 41.4% from 3-point range in catch-and-shoot situations.

"They want me to catch and shoot everything right now," LaVine said. "I've still got to be me out there and I'm still catching my rhythm, but I'm trying to find more catch and shoot. There were a couple I pump-faked and tried to drive. I've got to shoot more.

"I owe AC (Alex Caruso) a couple of assists because he found me in the corner a couple times and I pump-faked or swung it when I should have shot it. Someone telling me to shoot more, it sounds good."

With Toronto throwing double-teams at DeMar DeRozan, LaVine scored an efficient 30 points Monday. He hit 11 of 20 shots overall and went 4-for-8 from 3-point range.

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He didn't play the previous night when the Bulls lost at Toronto, but now the Bulls won't have any back-to-back games until Dec. 10 and 11, so he's expecting to suit up every time.

"I felt good and I felt even better today," LaVine said Monday. "I wish I played yesterday. I can't control the past, so try to make up for it today.

"I try to play as much as I can. Until we get to the point where we can figure out what's the best scenario, I think on back-to-backs it's going to be a little in the air."

DeMar seeing double:

DeMar DeRozan is still arguably the greatest player in Toronto Raptors history, so he doesn't mind getting a few parting gifts from current Raptors coach Nick Nurse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Nurse, who was an assistant during DeRozan's final years in Canada, designed defenses two days in a row to send double-teams and get the ball out of the hands of the Bulls' top scorer. He finished with just 9 points on Monday.

"Nurse has always been unorthodox with everything he do," DeRozan said. "You can tell by the lineups he throws out there. He'll throw four bigs out there with a point guard, throw five bigs out there to throw off the rhythm.

"Every time I've played against Nick since he's been a head coach it's always something different, some type of crazy scheme that he tries to play with. It was expected."

Injury update:

The Bulls listed center Andre Drummond as questionable for Wednesday's home game against New Orleans. Coach Billy Donovan said Drummond was a game-time decision Monday, but ultimately missed his sixth straight game with a left shoulder sprain.

Coby White (left quad contusion) is still out. The Pelicans' main stars -- Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum -- are expected to play.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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