Bulls guard Zach LaVine

Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports

Bulls' Zach LaVine Doubtful Against Lakers

LaVine is dealing with a patellar tendon strain in his right knee.

March 11, 2019 - 1:35 pm

(670 The Score) Bulls guard Zach LaVine is doubtful to play against the Lakers on Tuesday as he continues to deal with a patellar tendon strain in his right knee, coach Jim Boylen said Monday afternoon.

LaVine was sidelined for Chicago's 131-108 loss at Detroit on Sunday, and he didn't practice Monday.

"We're cautious with him and everybody else, very sensitive to the physical and emotional spirit of the team," Boylen said. "I have to continue to push these guys, coach them and teach them and keep them in a good frame of mind. I think that's important right now. We got 14 games (left) in the regular season, and we need to manage our team appropriately but also strive to get better and grow and develop who we can."

It's possible LaVine's knee ailment could keep him out for some time, though Boylen said no discussion has been had yet with management about shutting down LaVine for the season -- yet.

"What we're hoping for is every day he responds and gets a little better," Boylen said. "It's not the situation or time of year to push a guy to try to get a certain seed or home court. That's about as simply as I could put it. We have to understand that."

Boylen called juggling what's best for the long term with present-day development a "difficult" balance.

"I'm struggling with it," Boylen said. "When I make it an individual thing with each guy, for his growth, his development, his future, it helps me. But for the team, you want everybody on board. You want everybody to get better. You want to grow as a group."

LaVine is averaging a team-high 23.8 points, the 16th-best mark in the NBA.