LaVine’s well-rounded play didn’t go unnoticed, and the same could be said for Coby White, who had an even tougher night finishing with 0 points in the game. White did his best to limit turnovers and to work hard on the defensive end as well.
To a lesser degree than LaVine, but White still played well in other areas of the game. The effort didn’t go unnoticed by veteran teammates.
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Thaddeus Young Encourages Zach LaVine and Coby White
Like the savvy and positive veteran player that he is, Thaddeus Young pulled LaVine and White aside after the game to reassure them after their efforts on Sunday.
Thad Young made a point postgame to tell Zach LaVine and Coby White that they played the game the right way today despite struggling in shooting a combined 1-13 on FGs, according to Billy Donovan.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) January 17, 2021
It’s easy for young players to get too caught up on the scoring side. LaVine and White have carried the scoring load most of the season, and that certainly wasn’t the case on Sunday.
Young and LaVine Go Back
Familiarity is important.
Young and LaVine have been teammates with the Bulls since the beginning of the 2019-20 NBA season, but they were also teammates for 48 games during LaVine’s rookie season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
That level of familiarity and Young’s near-universal respect across the league provides a mentor-like relationship with the Bulls’ best player and one of its unsung veteran heroes.
More Balanced Play by LaVine and White on Monday
LaVine had a better scoring performance in the Bulls’ 125-120 win over the Houston Rockets at home on Monday, but his play was still balanced and control. He could have been more careful with the ball, as he had 5 turnovers, but in the fourth quarter when they needed him most, LaVine was strong and decisive with the ball.
He finished with 31 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and a blocked shot. Twenty of LaVine’s 33 points and 5 of his assists were in the second half.
He rescued the Bulls during some dead points in scoring in the second and third quarters, and he also assisted on the biggest field goal of the game from Chicago. This three from Lauri Markkanen was the dagger.
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) January 19, 2021
Again, he made some excellent decisions with the Ball, as Chicago demonstrated arguably their best ball movement of the season.
As a team, the Bulls had 23 assists.
Again, to a lesser degree, White could say the same thing. He got on the board with 10 points. White made some mistakes with the ball and on the defensive end, but also added 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Unfortunately, he also had 3 turnovers. Overall, the Bulls turned the ball over too much. They had a total of 17, which is about 5-7 more than you’d like to see.
Still, Chicago now are on a two-game winning streak, and a lot of the recent success can be attributed to LaVine and White playing the right way.
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