One concerning stat for each Chicago Bulls starter vs Milwaukee Bucks

Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 5, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
4 of 5
Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez, Jevon Carter. Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine
Mar 22, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports /

Zach LaVine will need his mid-range jumper against the Milwaukee Bucks

It feels like we aren’t talking enough about Zach LaVine going into this series. Maybe it’s just me, but despite how great he’s been, I’ve kind of forgotten about him.

This is someone who averaged over 24 points per game on 60 percent true shooting this season and was an All-Star! He bumped that up to over 25 points against the Bucks, but on 55.5 percent true shooting.

It might be because he’s been injured for a lot of the second half as he dealt with knee issues and DeRozan went off in his absence. Or maybe it’s because he hasn’t been as great as last season, even though he’s still been very good.

His true shooting has dropped by three percent and his effective field goal percentage by over four percent compared to last season. He wasn’t going to score as much when DeRozan arrived and took some of that burden off of him, but the drop-off in efficiency has been interesting.

He’s shooting three percent worse from 3, but 39 percent is still very good on 7.1 attempts per game. What’s more worrisome (unless you’re a Bucks fan) is that he’s nowhere near as efficient on mid-range jumpers this season.

LaVine shot around 45 percent on all mid-range jumpers last season, in the 83rd percentile for wings according to Cleaning the Glass (subscription required). This season, though, he’s under 39 percent from the mid-range which is in the 45th percentile for wings.

LaVine has seen a six percent drop in his shooting percentage on long mid-range shots and that’s a legitimate worry when 17 percent of his shots come in that area (89th percentile among wings).

We saw last year that when the game slows down, especially when it’s close, in the playoffs you need an efficient mid-range jump shooter and LaVine has not been very efficient in those spots this season. The Bucks will let him take those shots all game long and if he shoots as he did in the regular season, then it’ll be tough sledding for him.