Former Top 10 Pick Holding Bulls Back, Says Analyst

Billy Donovan

Getty Images Billy Donovan

It’s no secret that things have gone poorly for the Chicago Bulls over the last two games. The Bulls now trail the Milwaukee Bucks 3-1 in their first-round series after losing games three and four in Chicago by an average of 27 points.

The Bulls were already shorthanded coming into the playoffs as the team has been without Lonzo Ball since January. Chicago got more bad news on Tuesday as Zach LaVine entered the league’s health and safety protocols.

LaVine didn’t travel with the team back to Milwaukee on Tuesday and will continue to test for COVID-19 before Wednesday’s game five. So with LaVine’s status in doubt, it looks like the Bulls will be even more shorthanded for game five.

Holding the Bulls Back

With the way the Bulls have struggled this postseason, there is plenty of blame to go around for the team’s struggles. It also has a lot to do with the Bucks’ play, showing that they are the defending champions for a reason.

Recently, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report wrote an article where he named the player that is holding each playoff team back. For the Bulls that player is Coby White according to Swartz.

For a player who was selected No. 7 overall just three years ago (ahead of players like Tyler Herro, Jordan Poole, Keldon Johnson and Matisse Thybulle), White is giving the Bulls nothing now when they need him the most.

It’s not like Chicago is asking White to carry them offensively, not with DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic able to do so. White simply needs to hit some shots off the bench, take care of the ball and sprinkle in a little playmaking.

Instead, he’s averaging just 6.3 points and 1.3 assists on 31.0 percent shooting off the bench. His sloppiness with the ball in Game 4 helped get Grayson Allen going offensively en route to his 27 points, as White finished at minus-17 in his 13 minutes.

Swartz also said that the Bulls’ struggles are not White’s fault, but he hasn’t been able to help them either. He’s also not wrong about White’s struggles during the postseason, but it isn’t just him.

During the Bulls’ four playoff games so far, the team only has three players scoring in double-figures. DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Nikola Vucevic have averaged scoring 62.1 of the teams 94.0 points per game.

Looking Ahead

If the Bulls’ season does end in Milwaukee on Wednesday night it will start a busy offseason for the team. Chicago took a big step forward this season after the moves they made last offseason adding DeRozan, Ball, and Alex Caruso.

If the Bulls want to become a championship contender they’ll have to add more to the roster this summer. The first big decision they’ll have to make is whether to re-sign LaVine or not.

After that, the Bulls will have to look at other ways to improve the roster. White’s name was mentioned in trade talks at the trade deadline, so with the way, he’s struggled this postseason it’s likely his name will be popular in trade talks again this offseason.


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