So, as well all know Zach Lavine is not touted as the best defender in the league. According to Kris Dunn, he’s been working on defense with Zach.
Kris Dunn has been working with Zach LaVine on his defensive skills. Dunn said, "I just told him, 'You're as fast as me, you're more athletic than me. There is no way you shouldn't be a good defender in this league.'#BullsNation #Bulls
— ✶ ✶BuzzWeed✶ ✶ (@SMBuzzWeed) October 17, 2018
As you can see in the chart below, Zach’s DWS (Defensive Win Shares) have never gone over 1.0. If Zach wants to be an elite SG in the league he is going to have to give more of an effort on the defensive side of the ball.
Now, sometimes numbers do not tell the whole story, but this video will show fans just what we are dealing with here.
Personally, I do not think Zach is incapable of playing defense at all, it’s just an effort thing. Bulls fans have seen Zach explode into the passing lane, stealing the ball and throwing it down on the other end. Zach just needs to improve on the man to man and the help defense.
Enter Kris Dunn.
Dunn is widely respected in the league as a pit bull on defense. Kris shows heart, hustle, and muscle on the defensive side of the ball and takes it personally when he is scored on. Through is first two years in the Association, Kris has accounted for at least 1.0DWS.
I could literally pull every game that Dunn played in last year to show his defensive presence. Notice in the video clip below that Dunn never gives up on a play and turns his defense into offense.
Zach’s defensive struggles have been brought up a lot in the offseason and it does seem Zach has heard them and embraced them. Zach shut down Victor Olidapo this preseason, in a win over the Indiana Pacers.
Zach LaVine's defense was a big factor in last night's win against the Pacers.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) October 11, 2018
Let’s see if Zach can become the complete player. His offensive game is already there, and with a mentor on defense like Kris Dunn, look for Zach to make that jump.