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Game Preview: Wolves at Bulls

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What can we expect in Chris Finch’s second game?

Chicago Bulls v Houston Rockets Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Wolves (7-24) at Bulls (14-16)

7:00pm CST

FS North / WCCO Radio

Surely, the talking points tonight will once again revolve around Chris Finch in his second outing, but that truthfully isn’t the biggest reason I’ll be tuning in tonight.

While the Finch-era is upon us, and we are learning more about him on the fly, I am so freaking excited to watch our good friend Zach LaVine play basketball tonight. In case you were unaware, LaVine has made his first All-Star Game, and he absolutely deserves it. On the year, LaVine is averaging 28.5/5.4/5.1 on .518/.434/.864 shooting splits, which is preposterous efficiency for a volume scorer.

Zach has turned himself into one of the single most devastating shot-makers in the league, whether it’s off-the-dribble or in catch-and-shoot scenarios. You simply cannot give him any space. The problem there, of course, is he’s also blessed with ungodly athleticism and a functional enough handle to make it a tough, tough task to keep him in front of you. Simply put, this year, LaVine has put all of his magnificent offensive tools together to look like the best version of himself. He is the kind of guy I always want to root for, and I’m so happy that he’s put it together and will be rewarded with a spot in the ASG.

Now, as for the Wolves, I’m expecting much of the same as last night, at least offensively. I expect them to play fast and free, and play through Karl-Anthony Towns a ton. I firmly believe KAT has thus far been underutilized as a passer and creator for others, and I’m really looking forward to watching those responsibilities expand for him under Chris Finch.

If there’s one guy I just really want to see get going, it’s Anthony Edwards. I love the kid, but he is really struggling to put the ball in the basket right now. Thankfully, Chicago doesn’t employ Myles Turner or Giannis Antetokounmpo or Brook Lopez, which should make tonight a bit easier. His finishing around the rim has to get more consistent, and it would be a great sign to see him score it well tonight.

Lastly, Jarrett Culver presumably makes his return tonight, so it’s going to be fascinating to see how he fits into Finch’s vision. Culver seems like a guy who needs his minutes tied very closely to Karl-Anthony Towns’ minutes, but there’s only so many of those to go around. Here’s to hoping that Culver comes back looking aggressive and confident.

On that same note, it’s going to be worth watching whose minutes he takes, and how the minutes are distributed in general. Tonight is the second night of a back-to-back, so guys may be a bit winded, but it will still be interesting to watch how the Finch-led rotation will play out.

Projected Lineups

Bulls

Coby White

Garrett Temple

Zach LaVine

Patrick Williams

Wendell Carter, Jr.

Timberwolves

Ricky Rubio

Malik Beasley

Anthony Edwards

Jarred Vanderbilt

Karl-Anthony Towns