Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan explained why he benched All-Star Zach LaVine (4 points on 1-14 shooting) during last night’s 108-107 home loss to the Orlando Magic.
(via Jump View):
“I’m sure he’s really disappointed. He’s a really, really competitive guy. I love working with him everyday. He’s about the team. But I also know how much he puts into it, and how much it means to him, and how much he cares about it. So the ramifications of him not being out there, to me I was trying to do what’s best for our team in that moment. For example, I thought Derrick Jones the last 2 or 3 games, really played extremely well. I wanted to give him an opportunity off the bench to see what he can do. That 2nd unit tonight was not great, that happens. But Javonte, I give him a lot of credit. He kept himself ready. He played a lot of minutes there consecutively, and we went with him.
“With Zach, I feel like my job and my responsibility in those moments is to try to make the best decisions for the team. And I thought that was the best decision at the time. I don’t look at it as anything else as a one off game, or this is what was going on. I know he wanted to be out there. There’s probably not very many games in his career that he hasn’t been out there in those moments, but that group was playing well and it gave us a chance. We were up by four, I think, with 20 seconds to go.”