Zach LaVine: No Longer Just a Dunk Machine


“LaVine needs to develop more consistency and improve his basketball IQ … Has a tendency to settle for too many pull up jump shots and doesn’t attack the basket nearly as much as he should off the dribble … Got to the foul line at a poor rate for someone with his shot creating potential last season (1.8 FTA per night on 69%) … Pretty thin and frail, needs to put on more weight … Not a physical player at all, and really struggles with any aspect of the game dealing with contact right now … Has a raw feel for the game, and decides to take some bad shots at times.”

According to NBADraft.Net, these were LaVine’s weaknesses coming into his rookie season.

Regardless of the pieces of his game that LaVine needed to improve, his unworldly athleticism showcased his home run potential as he drew unthinkable comparisons to Russell Westbrook.

The rawest player in the draft had one of the highest ceilings. People such as myself began to praise LaVine’s talents after drooling over his draft workout videos and high school dunk contest highlights, but until LaVine improved his weaknesses, he’d only be a 6’5″ dunk machine.

Most of LaVine’s rookie season was overwhelming for a player that was trying to adjust to the NBA in what appeared to be a season — maybe two — too early. The poor shot selection, lack of muscle, and a low basketball IQ shined brighter than ever as his rookie season was littered with long, contested two-point jumpers, turnovers, and questions surrounding which actual position he would play in the future.

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