Bulls forward Justin Holiday isn’t easily impressed. He has seen hundreds of dunks and acrobatic finishes in his four-plus seasons, and though he appreciates the athleticism, most of it is old hat. Then came Zach LaVine. Holiday said he finds himself getting caught up watching LaVine when he attacks the rim. “Yeah, for sure,’’ Holiday said with a laugh. “You see how high that guy jumps? It puts you in awe. It’s the same for all of us, man . . . fans, players. It amazes all of us. It amazes me. “Any guy that can jump like that . . . I consider myself a very athletic person, but he’s jumping head over heels compared to what I can do. Really what a lot of us can do.’’ So, of course, LaVine’s teammates are getting excited about his expected return in early January from surgery to repair the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The Bulls’ athleticism will improve overnight with the two-time NBA dunk champ in the lineup, but thumbing his nose at gravity is just a small part of what LaVine will bring to the team. Coach Fred Hoiberg has been drawing up sets for the 6-5 shooting guard since the summer. He has seen the emergence of rookie Lauri Markkanen and a suddenly re-energized Nikola Mirotic, so LaVine can only enhance the playbook. Hoiberg said a lot of the offense has been going through the power forwards because of the pressure Markkanen and Mirotic put on defenses with their inside-outside games. LaVine won’t change that completely, but he’ll be added to the mix with a lot of two-man sets involving him and Markkanen or Mirotic, especially in pick-and-roll.
Zach LaVine ready for Bulls debut filled with shock and ‘awe’
Chicago Sun-Times | Dec 19