Billy Donovan benched a star in crunch time
Friday night’s Chicago Bulls game should have been a win for Billy Donovan and the crew. The Bulls entered the game losers of three straight. The team should have bounced back against a bad Orlando Magic team that had won just four games before playing the Bulls. The Bulls wasted the opportunity.
DeMar DeRozan had a great night scoring. The five-time All-Star went 16-30 from the field as he scored 41 points in the loss. He covered Zach LaVine, another Bulls All-Star player who couldn’t find the basket against the Magic. LaVine finished 1-14 with just four points.
It wasn’t a great night by LaVine. And Donovan decided to pull him in crunch time against the Magic. After the game, LaVine gave a surprising answer about how he felt about the benching. According to Cody Westerlund at 670 The Score, LaVine said afterwords he disagreed with the Donovan benching him at the end of the game:
“That’s Billy’s decision. He’s got to lay with it. Do I agree with it? No. I think I can go out there and still be me even if I missed some shots. That’s his decision, and he has to stand on it.”
Zach LaVine on being pulled by Billy Donovan in crunch time: "That's Billy's decision. He's got to lay with it. Do I agree with it? No. I think I can go out there and still be me even if I missed some shots. That's his decision, and he has to stand on it."
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) November 19, 2022
Billy Donovan might regret that decision
The Bulls wound up losing to the Magic by one point. So in hindsight, the plan didn’t work out for the Bulls. It’s an expensive lesson to teach LaVine, as the Bulls lost a game to a team they needed to beat in the early season. There’s no excuse for losing to the Magic. They need to beat lesser competition as they’re struggling with good teams as Lonzo Ball continues to rehab.
Billy Donovan’s coaching seat is getting warmer by the game. There’s no reason why the Bulls’ record is this bad in November. The Bulls have most of their main roster from last season’s playoff team. LaVine, who signed a max contract this offseason, needs to play better than he did Friday night. However, Donovan needs to ride with his best players in crunch time. That decision looks even worse as it culminated in the Bulls’ tenth loss of the early season.
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