A hot stretch over the last 10 games or so for the Chicago Bulls rookie point guard Coby White is elevating his numbers across the board.
A breakthrough that the Chicago Bulls really needed entering the 2020 offseason could finally be coming through. That breakthrough for the Bulls of late is coming from the rookie former North Carolina Tar Heels 6-foot-5 point guard Coby White. Since the All-Star Break let out, White is scorching hot and completely turned his game around. He’s looking like Trae Young did with the Atlanta Hawks or Collin Sexton with the Cleveland Cavaliers down the stretch last season.
Saying that White will replicate the path of Young to the point where he’s at now with the Hawks might be a bit bold. But the pieces did click for both Young and Sexton down the stretch during their rookie seasons. Young is finding much more success than Sexton at the moment, but the latter is churning out at least respectable production this season.
The months of March and February are the only two through White’s rookie season that he’s posted a true shooting percentage even above 50. The two best offensive ratings he’s registered during any of the months he’s played in the NBA thus far came in the last two. He’s averaging a whopping 23.0 points per game, 3.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists while shooting 44.0 percent from the field in the four games he’s played in March thus far.
White pretty much doubled his points per game from January on into February (10.3 to 20.1). A lot of his per game stats from last month alone were watered down by his production prior to NBA All-Star Weekend. But he’s really seeing all the pieces fall into place since.
With his recent spike in production, White is now averaging 13.1 points per game, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.7 assists, while shooting 39.4 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from beyond the arc. He’s also got a box plus/minus rating of -2.5, which is not great. But it is steadily improving of late. His number of defensive win shares did go up of late, though, now up to 1.3 on the season.
Most of all, White is starting to make better decisions with both his shot selection and his facilitating ability. Averaging more than six assists per game through four in the month of March is a huge leap forward for White. That was one of the main points of concern from him coming out of the UNC basketball program.
The improvement in production in terms of shot selection and facilitation show up with the fact that White now has a true shooting percentage over 50 and an assist rate of 16.4 percent. It wasn’t all that long ago that White’s assist rate was lower than 14.0 percent and his true shooting percentage was still in the 40’s.
All of this improvement for White of late also led to his selection as the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in February. That’s the first time this season that a Bulls rookie got those honors.