His ice-cold shooting night and dramatic rant against the Orlando Magic drew a parental reality check for Zach LaVine.
Following his bounce-back game on Monday against the Boston Celtics, LaVine made it known that he drew inspiration from his father, who gave him an honest assessment of his performance in last week’s loss against Orlando.
“I go home and evaluate my game like I do with good games, bad games,” LaVine said, per NBC Sports’ K.C. Johnson. “I talk to my wife. I talk to my father a lot. That’s someone I always talk to.
“He gave it to me straight, ‘You played like s***. Go play better next game. It’s as simple as that. It’s one game. You’ve played 500 games in your career. You’re going to have another bad night. Just hopefully it’s not as bad as that one. Go play better next game.’”
The Chicago Bulls star went 1-for-14 and was benched by coach Billy Donovan down the stretch against the Magic, which gave him an unpleasant impression and late-game coaching assessment.
But as he already cleared his relationship with Donovan, LaVine made sure to contribute as a bonafide star, marking 22 points in 8-for-20 shooting to go with 5 boards and 5 dimes en route to Chicago’s 121-107 routing of Boston.
“Everybody has a career-worst night. You just don’t know when it’s going to happen. I guess that was my night,” LaVine said. “Take them in stride and try to be better. I put the work in. I treat the game with respect. I think I’ll come out in the positive if I do that.
“I just played hard, took my shots. I missed some easy shots. Even the game where I went 1-for-14, my shot felt good. I’m missing shots I normally don’t. But I’m going to keep shooting them with confidence, keep trying to get downhill. Legs are starting to feel better. I just tried to be active – offensively, defensively, trying to get other guys involved. I think it showed. And we came out with the win; that’s all that mattered.”