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"This ain't last year" - Zach LaVine after Chicago Bulls grind out defensively to win season opener against Detroit Pistons

Chicago Bulls star Zach Lavine drives into the paint against the Detroit Pistons
Chicago Bulls star Zach Lavine drives into the paint against the Detroit Pistons
Ananth.Narasimman
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Chicago Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine finally got much-needed help after a bevy of great offseason moves by the team.

LaVine was previously the lone wolf on the roster. He single-handedly kept the Bulls afloat until they got stars like DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic, along with key role players like Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso, in the offseason.

The Chicago Bulls' offseason moves seemed to be working as the team came out all guns blazing in their season opener against the Detroit Pistons. Even though it was just the first game of the season, Zach LaVine and the Bulls go back home with plenty of positives.

LaVine had an outstanding game, scoring 34 points while grabbing seven boards and dishing out four assists to lead the Bulls to a 94-88 victory. What stood out the most during the game was the team's defensive performance, which eventually helped them seal the victory.

Zach LaVine has heaped praise on the team's mindset this season. Here is what he had to say (via ESPN's Eric Woodyard):

"This ain’t last year. We’re looking forward now. It’s a whole new team. A whole new mindset. So, I’m excited that we grinded that one out. A win’s a win."
New era of #Bulls basketball. Zach LaVine after win over Pistons: “This ain’t last year. We’re looking forward now. It’s a whole new team. A whole new mindset. So, I’m excited that we grinded that one out. A win’s a win.” https://t.co/IWbhi3XQeW

This is indeed a different-looking Chicago Bulls team with a gritty, defensive mindset that could possibly help them make a deep post-season run.


Can Zach Lavine guide the Chicago Bulls to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals?

Zach Lavine making a tough layup against the Philadelphia 76ers
Zach Lavine making a tough layup against the Philadelphia 76ers

Judging by the way they played their first game, the Chicago Bulls and Zach LaVine have made vast strides and look like they are capable of beating the best. However, they will have to be extremely consistent to beat the likes of the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks in a seven-game series.

The Bulls have all the right tools this season. They have great scorers in DeRozan, LaVine and Vucevic, as well as sublime playmakers in Lonzo and Caruso. They also have a defensive mindset that will help them in high-pressure situations.

It’s Game 1 and Caruso is diving on the floor!@NBCSChicago | @ACFresh21 https://t.co/j1wY2e1ngn

The Chicago Bulls defense is what will help them make a deep run in the post-season. Role players like Alex Caruso, who had four steals and two blocks against the Pistons, will play a key role in making their defense impregnable.

Playing against elite scorers such as Kevin Durant, Julius Randle and Giannis Antetokounmpo will make their job extremely difficult. However, the Bulls will have to sustain the defensive intensity shown during their opening game to grind out a win against the top teams in the East.

Keep an eye out for the Chicago Bulls in the East as they are capable of causing an upset or two.


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Q. Will the Bulls reach the Eastern Conference Semi Finals?

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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