Zach LaVine delivers a harsh reality after finally accomplishing an elusive feat


Chicago Bulls All-Star Zach LaVine has finally won four straight games of the NBA regular season. He did it for the first time in his career Monday night against the Toronto Raptors.

However, LaVine was not in a heartbreaking mood after the game. After all, the Bulls nearly lost a 20-point lead in the second half thanks to their offensive neglect down the stretch. While the Bulls are now 4-0 and the only undefeated team in the Eastern Conference, the star goalie knows there is a lot of work to be done to effectively close games and become a very great team:

Chicago is incorporating a number of new plays into the lineup this season, so it’s no surprise that there were some growing pains during the critical period. The Bulls have managed to grab a few close wins before, but they haven’t been quite pretty. Monday’s game featured particularly mind-boggling turnovers from LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso.

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Luckily for Chicago, former Raptor DeMar DeRozan came to the rescue. DeRozan had 11 points in the fourth quarter, including two huge midrange buckets to help stem the tide as Toronto tried to come back fiercely. The veteran has shown why the Bulls paid a high price for him, demonstrating a calming presence on the floor as his teammates make panic mistakes.

Like LaVine, however, DeRozan knows Chicago has a long way to go, via Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry:

“It doesn’t mean anything,” DeRozan said. “We have a long way to go. We have a lot more to clean up, to learn. It’s a long season. It’s great, but we still have a lot of basketball to play. We have to move on to the next game. We can’t wear this record like it’s some sort of badge of honor. We have to understand that the next game will be even more difficult.

The Bulls are 4-0 for the first time since the 1996-97 season, which ended in a championship. Chicago is probably not a champion team this season, but showing growth and qualifying for the playoffs after years of suffering would be a big plus.

The schedule is about to get a lot tougher for the Bulls, so we’ll see what they’re made of ahead.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Pat Connaughton, Bucks

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