Chicago Bulls head coach Billy Donovan expects Zach LaVine to be able to finish the season despite being hampered by a knee issue. LaVine has been battling a knee issue since January and he missed Saturday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to a knee discomfort.
The Bulls are hoping LaVine returns to the lineup when they meet the Sacramento Kings. "Everything that I've got from the doctors is that they feel totally comfortable with him playing," Donovan said. "It's just something that he's going to have to manage and deal with throughout the course of the season." Before the game, coach Donovan reflected on LaVine's knee issue.
"The feeling was to see if we can get him back down to ground zero where he's feeling a little bit better," Donovan said before the game. "It's not one of these things where we've mapped out, this is what we're doing, we're sitting him here on his back-to-back.
We're sitting him here. It's going to be day-to-day just to see how he's feeling."
LaVine was out but Alex Caruso returned
Caruso, who broke his wrist on January 21, returned to the lineup on Saturday night. Caruso had a solid performance in his first game back as he posted 11 points and four steals in Chicago's 101-91 win over the Cavs.
"There's a lot of confidence in that locker room with Alex defensively, what he can do and his disruption and the way he generates steals and deflections," Donovan said. "When we were whole, with him and Lonzo [Ball] back there, that was really the strength of our defense.
We were disruptive." Meanwhile, Caruso didn't hide his happiness after returning from a two-month absence. "I was excited just to play basketball again," Caruso said after the game. "Caught myself just walking on the court for pregame warmups, just kind of smiling, excited to be out there.
When the game started, I was standing up for random plays that probably didn't need to be cheered for. I was just excited to be back playing basketball." The Bulls sit at No. 4 on the Eastern Conference standings with a 41-26 record.
"We have great chemistry," Caruso said. "I think everybody on the team is pulling for whoever it is at the time that needs it, and tonight it was me. That's a product of how much I pour into my teammates, and they pour into me."