1. Zach LaVine’s chase for a scoring title
It might surprise a lot of neutral NBA fans to know that LaVine did not lead the Bulls in scoring last season. DeRozan edged him out by averaging 27.9 points per contest compared to LaVine’s mark of 24.4 points per night. Chicago needs LaVine to reassert himself as the team’s offensive alpha dog this year.
That doesn’t mean DeRozan won’t still get plenty of shots, but LaVine’s willingness to take a high volume of 3-pointers makes him the more efficient option. LaVine needs to get his attempt rate back up to over eight per game after dropping to just 7.1 attempts per game last season.
If LaVine can get back to taking a high number of threes while still attacking the basket to generate foul shots then he’s got a great chance to flirt with 30 points per game. That would be good enough to get him in the hunt to become the NBA’s regular season scoring champion.
Some teams would see their win total diminished by a player chasing that kind of individual accolade, but it would actually positively influence Chicago’s regular season success rate. They need an alpha scorer who can generate efficient offense in the halfcourt. LaVine’s ability to do that is what gives Chicago an outside shot of moving up the Eastern Conference standings this year.