Home Life Extensive offseason work has raised Chicago's Zach LaVine's game to an All-Star...

Extensive offseason work has raised Chicago's Zach LaVine's game to an All-Star level

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The shortened 2019-20 season had unintended benefits for Zach LaVine.

The Bulls weren’t part of the bubble restart, giving the shooting guard an unusual amount of time to analyze his game on video and then work on it in the gym.

“I took advantage of the time,” LaVine told USA TODAY Sports. “I got extra time to break down my game. Not my whole game because at a certain point you are who you are. You just get better at the things you’re good at and try to make up for your faults. Last summer, I was real specific about what I wanted to work on.”

LaVine sat down with renowned skills coach Drew Hanlen who identified areas where LaVine needed to improve offensively: at the rim, 3-10 feet from the rim and 3-pointers.

LaVine and Hanlen put together a plan.

The results have been phenomenal. LaVine averages career-highs in points (28.7), assists (5.1) and rebounds (5.2). Most impressive are his shooting percentages: career-bests in field goal shooting (52.5%, seven points higher than last season) and 3-pointers (43.5%, five points higher than last season).

One of the biggest areas of improvement for Zach LaVine from previous seasons is finishing at the rim.

LaVine made the All-Star team for the first time in his career.

“Once you break through, you get the respect of your peers, your coaches and the media,” LaVine said. “I feel I’ve been playing at an All-Star level. Breaking through, finally, feels good. I’m very happy. My teammates have helped me a lot, and the coaching staff as well. I just have to be thankful.”

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