Bulls’ Coby White Gets Honest About Thunder’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chicago Bulls

Getty Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Chicago Bulls guard Coby White set a season-high in points for the second game in a row, tallying 23 points on the strength on 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc.

It was not enough to keep the Bulls from starting another losing streak.

That was because they went up against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the current No. 2 team in the Western Conference standings who are led on the court by 2022-23 All-NBA selection Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The Bulls lost 116-102.

“He … makes a lot of tough shots in today’s game that most people would think are bad shots,” said White, per Sam Smith of Bulls.com on November 23. “Contested twos, fadeaway twos, couple of times he’s shooting over three hands; hell of a player. You can’t take away everything, and to me he has everything in his bag. He’s been on a tear this season.”

Gilgeous-Alexander, who played for Bulls head coach Billy Donovan during the latter’s final season in OKC during the 2019-20 season, finished the win with a game-high 40 points.

He was efficient, going 11-for-19 from the floor and 17-for-18 at the free throw line.

The former Los Angeles Clipper also snagged five rebounds, blocked three shots, had one steal, and turned the ball over just twice. He scored 23 of his points in the second half to stave off the Bulls’ rally.

Bulls Back on the Skids

The Bulls gave themselves a one-game respite with their win over the Miami Heat on November 18. But this loss is their second straight and their fifth in the last six games.

Sitting at 5-11 at what is an admittedly critical season, White says there is no time to get down.

“Being negative and frustrated isn’t going to solve any of the problems we have,” White said. “Got to continue to grind and get better and trust each other and uplift each other and stay positive. Obviously, there were a couple of games back we should have won, but it is what it is.”

“It’s just about us finding it,” said Alex Caruso, per Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic on November 23. “Because we’re really close, man. We watch the film. We do a good job with the stuff we’re trying to do when we do it well. It’s just about limiting the times that we don’t do stuff well.”

“We have to look forward, keep grinding and keep our head held high and we’re still here competing,” said White. “We’re all on the same page, staying positive and uplifting each other. We trust each other. It’s not going to be easy, but we’ve got to fight through.”

Coby White on Bulls’ Road Trip: ‘Go 3-1’

So, what should the Bulls do, sitting six games below .500 and in 13th in the Eastern Conference standings, just 2.5 games out of the cellar?

“We’ve got three more games on this road trip,” White said. “Try to go 3-1.”

The Bulls will next take the court on November 24 against the Toronto Raptors. They then head to face the Brooklyn Nets before closing the road trip against the Boston Celtics. Boston, who sit atop the Eastern Conference standings, is the only one of those teams that will have a winning record heading into play.