Zach LaVine prints his first poster as a Chicago Bull
The Sacramento Kings’ season has been anything but a smooth ride. The west coast franchise has struggled to develop rookies Justin Jackson and De’Aaron Fox, battled with unhappy veterans George Hill and Zach Randolph, and cut ties completely with 2016 lottery pick Georgios Papagiannis.
For one magical Monday night, the odds were in Sacramento’s favor. Despite trailing by as many as 21 points, the Kings managed to erase Chicago’s lead and triumph over the Bulls 104-98
It was a collective effort for the Kings to secure the win. No singular player particularly stood out statistically on the night. Bogdan Bogdanovic led the Kings in scoring with 15 points on 3-9 shooting and Hill was the most efficient performer with 14 points in 25 minutes off the bench.
Sacramento got off to a sluggish start with an atrocious nine point first quarter, but after finding a rhythm as a team, fought back to pull even. Bogdanovic banged home the tie-breaking triple with just under a minute to go and the Kings never looked back.
The victory over the wounded Bulls marked Sacramento’s first season sweep of Chicago since the 2006-07 regular season over a decade ago. Depending on how you look at the achievement, it was either a turning point or an eye-opening experience for a continually failing franchise.
Chicago was already down men entering the game, but after a first quarter ejection of Robin Lopez, their depth frontcourt depth was further depleted. Although the reaction by Lopez that triggered his ejection was a bit of an overreaction on his part, the animated center gave the crowd some comedic relief when he tossed a chair WWE style on his way to his early shower.
While the Bulls loss was embarrassing, shooting guard Zach LaVine got the last laugh. The microwave scorer has appeared in only 11 games for Chicago after returning from a devastating ACl injury he incurred last season, but he exploded off the floor like he’d never been gone as he put Kings’ defender JaKarr Sampson on a poster.
LaVine’s Kodak moment was the highlight of the game, and unfortunately for the Bulls, about the only thing worth celebrating.
They aren’t expexted to win many games on their remaining schedule and that’s not necessarily the worst outcome. The 2018 draft class is loaded with franchise changing talent and Chicago has more than a few worthwhile pieces to build around.
Rookie stretch-4 Lauri Markkanen has been surprisingly better than anticipated this is his first go-round and sophomore point guard Kris Dunn has played wildly better than anyone could’ve imagined after putting together what was one of the most disappointing rookie seasons of last year’s freshman class. The Bulls are terrible right now, but losing is just part of the rebuilding process.
No competitive professional athlete likes losing, but some of the best lessons can be learned from a loss. While it won’t feel like it for a young and discouraged Bulls squad, their hardships will pay off sooner than they know and the proud Chicago franchise will return to respectable level of competitiveness.