Chicago Bulls: 3 defensive liabilities that must improve this season

Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports
Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports /
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Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

1) Chicago Bulls defensive liabilities who must improve

Coby White. 1. 24. Pick Analysis. Age: 20. Scouting Report. Point Guard. player

Yet another key piece of the Bulls young core that just wasn’t good on the defensive end in the regular season opener loss to the Hawks on Dec. 23 was the second-year former North Carolina Tar Heels point guard Coby White. This offensively gifted 20-year-old 6-foot-5 floor general White wasn’t very good on this end of the floor during his rookie season either.

But the good news for White’s game this season was that the outlook appeared to be brighter than it was on the defensive end for most of his rookie campaign. Basketball-Reference projected him to average 1.1 steals and 0.2 blocks per 36 minutes this season.

During his rookie campaign, White averaged 0.8 steals per game and 0.1 blocks. He also registered a -1.6 defensive box plus/minus rating, 1.4 defensive win shares, 112 defensive rating, 1.4 steal percentage, and 0.3 block percentage. There is clearly ample room for improvement for White during his second year in the NBA on defense.

The only Bulls player that registered a worse defensive rating than the likes of LaVine, White, and second-year center Daniel Gafford, in the season opening loss to the Hawks was WCJ. That aforementioned trio of Bulls players registered a 122 defensive rating in the opener, and WCJ sat at 123.

Next. Projecting Bulls regular season 15-man rotation. dark

In the season opener, White registered one steal, no blocks, and he was a -13 when on the floor. His +/- in the opener was a bit confusing since he might’ve had the most inefficient performance of any player in the Bulls starting five on that night. He registered just nine points, along with three turnovers, in the opener.