Chicago Bulls: 3 reasons why Coby White is not a star yet

Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

2. The Bulls had a weak Strength of Schedule on Coby White’s hot streak

Coby White’s post-All-Star Break run was extremely impressive. That type of turn-around is magnificent in any circumstance, but when truly looking at whom the Bulls faced, the impressiveness is certainly toned down. Some of the teams that the Bulls faced on this run are the worst defenses in the league today, and no great, top five defense was faced.

Logically, players perform better when facing poor defenses and poor individual defenders, and that’s exactly what happened with White, playing only three above average defenses (Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers, and Brooklyn Nets) in his 10 game run. Additionally, the Bulls played against the worst defense in the league (Washington Wizards) and the second-worst defense in the league (Cleveland Cavaliers).

When looking at the three above average teams though and looking at who was guarding White, it is easy to see why he was able to play so well regardless of the team’s defense.

In the OKC Thunder game, on White’s makes, he was guarded by Dennis Schroder four of those times, Terrance Ferguson four times, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander two times, and lastly, Chris Paul two of those times. One of White’s buckets was a transition basket where it’s hard to classify who was responsible for White.

Schroder’s defense is nothing special, and Terrance Ferguson’s on-ball defense is not on par with his off-ball defense. SGA is an average defender. When scoring on CP3, White was 2-5, as he was 2-1 in P&R situations and 0-2 in isolation, showing CP3’s defense stopping White when it being a 1v1 game.

Against the Pacers, White was guarded by Aaron Holiday three times, Edmond Sumner three times, Myles Turner twice, and Victor Oladipo once on his makes. Additionally, White had two transition buckets. Holiday isn’t a bad defender by any means, but he is probably slightly below average on that side of the court; the same can be said for Sumner.

Turner is a spectacular defender on the interior, but he lacks the speed and quickness on the perimeter to stay with guards like White; when switched onto guards, it is tough for him to stop them. Oladipo is a very good defender, yes, but he was only scored on once by White; it was a very small sample.

Lastly, looking at the Nets game, White scored his makes on Caris LeVert four times, Chris Chiozza three times, and Spencer Dinwiddie one time. The Nets are a team anchored interior-wise as the source of the great defense, mainly by centers Jarrett Allen and, though not as good as he was in seasons prior, DeAndre Jordan. LeVert is not a bad defender by any means, but he is nothing great. He got lost off-ball when defending White on two of those four times. Chiozza, despite being less than 6 feet tall, is an above-average defender who uses his quick hands to his advantage. Dinwiddie is a bad defender, and there’s no way getting around that.

As clearly demonstrated above, the defense against White in these games was nothing spectacular whatsoever, so it was easy for him to look much better than he was.