Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine named All-Star for first time in his career


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LaVine is averaging 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists per game (Mike Dinovo - USAT)
LaVine is averaging 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists per game (Mike Dinovo - USAT)

The NBA announced earlier tonight that for the first time in his career, Zach LaVine is an All-Star, selected as a reserve for the Eastern Conference in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game by East head coaches.

In 30 games this season, the 25-year-old guard is averaging a career-high 28.6 points (4th in the East; 7th in the NBA), career-high 10.2 field goals made (T-3rd in East and NBA), career-high 3.5 3-pointers made (T-6th in NBA; T-1st in East) career-high 5.4 rebounds, a career-high 5.1 assists and 1.13 steals in 35.6 minutes per game while shooting 51.8 percent from the field, 43.4 percent from three and 86.4 percent from the free throw line. He joins Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only Eastern Conference players to currently average at least 28.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.0 steal. He and Kevin Durant are currently the only players in the NBA to average at least 28.0 points while shooting over 50.0 percent from the field, 40.0 percent from three and 80.0 percent from the free throw line.

"Zach has been unbelievable for us this year," said Bulls Head Coach Billy Donovan. "He's played like an All-Star all season, and he has really taken his play to another level. I know how hard he works and what this recognition means to him. I am very happy for him and want to congratulate him on this very well-deserved honor."

LaVine has seen his scoring rise each month this season – from 23.4 points per game in December to 28.3 in January and 31.1 in February. He has totaled at least 15 points in a quarter six times this season and leads the NBA in fourth-quarter scoring with 237 points. LaVine also leads the league in clutch scoring with 85 points scored in the last five minutes of a game with a margin of five points or less.

In his seventh NBA season, LaVine came to Chicago in a Draft-night trade with Minnesota on June 22, 2017. He currently tops the Bulls stats totals in scoring, field goals made and attempted, 3-pointers made and attempted, free throws made and attempted, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, steals and minutes played. He has led the Bulls in scoring a team-high 23 times in 2020-21, in rebounds four times and in assists a team-high 14 times. He has scored in double digits every game he's played and has posted 26 games with 20-plus points, including 15 games with 30 or more points (second-most in the East) and two games with 40-plus points.

LaVine's selection marks the first time the Bulls have had a player named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team since Jimmy Butler in 2017. NBA All-Star 2021 will be played on Sunday, March 7, in Atlanta at State Farm Arena. On-court action will begin at 5:30 p.m. CT and will be televised on TNT.

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