With the Chicago Bulls playoff push slowing to a crawl, focus is shifting to the teams future, and how they’ll fill the biggest hole on the roster: point guard.
The answer might be in front of them, suiting up nightly at the United Center.
Coby White’s playing his best basketball of the season in recent weeks. He’s averaging 17.2 points and 6.4 assists over their last five, a stretch that’s seen the Bulls go 3-2.
A silver lining if there ever was one for a struggling Chicago team.
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High Praise from the Head Coach
After the Chicago Bulls third win in four games, this time over an injury-ridden Charlotte Hornets team, head coach Billy Donovan spoke highly about White’s recent play:
The second-year point guard had 18 points, three rebounds, and just three assists, but finished with zero turnovers for just the seventh-time this season.
Moving the ball and limiting turnovers have been the highlight of White’s recent stint. He’s recorded one or fewer turnovers in all but one game since being moved into the starting lineup.
White’s open (but still focused) approach to games in this stretch has been wildly apparent. Take these sequences from their win over the Boston Celtics for example:
For White to make the adjustment as quickly as in the same game, isn’t something the Bulls have seen from him at all this year. Maybe Donovan’s right, and the 21-year old is breaking out in year two.
Because to say the game “is slowing down” for a young guard is about as high a praise as you can offer outside of calling them the next Magic Johnson or Stephen Curry.
Expect the message to be received loud and clear on Coby White’s end: keep up the great work.
Because without it, it’s hard to picture what the last five games would have looked like for the Chicago Bulls.
And with 13 games remaining, 10 of those against above .500 teams, it’s not going to get any easier.
Updated Bulls Playoff Odds
After their win over the Charlotte Hornets, the Chicago Bulls improve to 25-34.
That makes them tied with the Toronto Raptors for the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference, over whom they own the tie breaker this season.
And it brings them up to half a game back of the Washington Wizards for the 10th seed and final play-in spot.
Five Thirty Eight has the Bulls’ playoff chances at five percent.
That’s good for the worst odds among teams with a greater than one percent chance.
The website’s forecast heavily favors Toronto to make the postseason, with a 22 percent chance.
Washington is in between the two, at eight percent odds.
Tankathon.com has Chicago’s remaining schedule as the fourth-toughest in the entire NBA.
So the odds are stacked against the Chicago Bulls, who’ve won three of their last four.
13 games to go.