The “MVP… MVP” chants began early in the Bulls’ home opener on Friday, in the shower Zach LaVine when he was standing at the free throw line. But they also entered Alex Caruso’s direction.
When Lonzo ball He was asked if it was a little too early for the singing to begin, especially for Caruso, he smiled and said, “Hey man he got my support.”
While LaVine has been a fan favorite for years and Caruso is on the rise, don’t overlook the way Javonte Green has been adopted by the Bulls faithful since the all-round wing got the green light to start on a then-injured Patrick williams in pre-season.
LaVine said Green has been one of his favorites since joining under a trade deadline deal last March.
“It’s my dog right there,” LaVine said. “He brings that doggy mentality to the game, does everything for the team, sacrifices his body, runs the ground, does all the dirty work. Great guy on and off the ground. Her energy is contagious. ”
And some of his dunks have been ridiculous. LaVine said what the team has seen of Green in games is what he does in practice all the time.
“He’s pretty darn close to any dunk in training,” LaVine said.
What really matters to the starters is that Green – like most of the second unit – pushes them in training and brings energy into games.
“[Green is] one of the most energetic guys we have, ”said Ball. “Not only to run the route, but to play in defense. He can hold a lot of different positions and he also uses his hands very well. We’re definitely feeding off that when he enters the game. ”
This is why Green could be a key reserve going forward. He’s a great defender and can hold multiple positions, but he’s also shown he works well with starters in the event of injury or a change in lineup.
“The only thing with Javonte, when he’s in the game you just feel it with the way he flies, defies shots, runs the ground, cuts, climbs on glass”, coach Billy Donovan noted. “You can just smell it over there.
“I trust his energy, and I trust his engine. The thing with him is that he plays with who he is. He’s not trying to do things that he can’t do or that he’s not good at, but what he’s good at is playing with great urgency. ”
Donovan said he was looking for ways to get Williams involved in the attack, and the second-year forward made a suggestion, highlighting all of the pick-and-rolls he’s worked on over the summer.
“It was one of the things that I and the player development and coaching staff worked on this summer,” said Williams. “I felt super confident in the summer league. It’s a matter of getting into those positions. ”
Donovan said he felt good about the way he used his rotations throughout the preseason and the first three games of the regular season. But he warned that it shouldn’t be overdone.
Too small Alize Johnson has been used more than Tony bradley as a backup center. Donovan also went back and forth with Ayo Dosunmu and Troy Brown Jr. Expect it to continue to be a work in progress.
“We’re going to need all of these guys,” Donovan said. “During a season, different things happen. You always try to tinker with to improve the group. Sometimes the staff you play against can also have a lot to do with dictating rotations. ”