Chicago Bulls: Coby White electric in preseason win over Rockets

Coby White, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Coby White, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

The United Center was the site of the Chicago Bulls first preseason win, coming on Dec. 13, over the Houston Rockets by a comfortable 13-point margin.

A much improved effort for the Chicago Bulls and newly hired head coach Billy Donovan in this team’s second preseason game of the year was much more satisfying for this fan base on Dec. 13. The Bulls got off to a rather poor start in this four-game preseason slate, back on Dec. 11 at home at the United Center as they fell short to veteran point guard John Wall and the Houston Rockets by the final score of 125-104.

Although you can’t put too much stock into a preseason loss, especially one in this weird year in the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it wasn’t great to see a lot of what Bulls fans did in the preseason opener heading into the weekend. We have to take these preseason games with a grain of salt since we still have a little more than one week until the regular season tips off.

The Bulls have two more games remaining in the preseason schedule, as they hit the road to face the Oklahoma City Thunder both on Dec. 17 and 19. And then Donovan and the Bulls open up the regular season slate on Dec. 23 at home at the United Center against the Atlanta Hawks.

However, focusing on the effort that the Bulls came out with to round out the weekend, and the home portion of their preseason slate, brings some optimism for the organization and fans. The Bulls came up with a solid win over the Rockets on Dec. 13, to move their record on the preseason to 1-1.

There were solid outings all over the place for the Bulls, which is another good sign of how the rest of the preseason could go. Two of the most critical outings came from the Bulls starting backcourt pairing of shooting guard Zach LaVine and point guard Coby White.

The Bulls also got good nights from bench players like center Daniel Gafford, point guard Ryan Arcidiacono, and small forward Chandler Hutchison. Across the board, a lot of good signs emerged from this young core in the second game of the preseason slate.

On the Bulls side, LaVine provided a game-high 23 points, to go along with nine rebounds, five assists, one turnover, and one block. LaVine shot an efficient 8-of-14 from the field, 3-of-7 from beyond the arc, and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line.

Meanwhile, the Bulls got 20 points from White, to go along with three rebounds, five assists, a worrying four turnovers, and one block. White shot 7-of-15 from the field, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, and a perfect 2-of-2 from the free-throw line.

The fact that White had six turnovers in the first two games of the preseason is a worrying storyline to watch. But it’s also one that could easily go away as he gets in rhythm since the Bulls were out of meaningful game action for so long.

The defense for the Bulls in this game was also much improved. They let the Rockets shoot just 34.5 percent from the field and 25.5 percent from beyond the arc. The Bulls were also moving the ball a lot better, posting 26 team assists compared to 15 from the Rockets. Hitting the glass hard was a staple for the Bulls on this night too, registering 57 rebounds (15 on the offensive boards).

And the final score of this game went in the Bulls favor 104-91. That was a nice turnaround from their 21-point loss to the Rockets on Dec. 11.

Next. 3 Bulls bound to get more playing time in 20-21. dark

After notching their first win of the preseason so far, the Bulls will get a few days off before their next outing against the Thunder. OKC will come into that game with a record of 1-0, coming off their 121-108 road win over the San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 12.