NBA Playoffs: 3 X-Factor Bulls that could surprise us, 2 that could fall flat

Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Patrick Beverley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Coby White, Chicago Bulls
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Might Surprise Us: Coby White

While we’re already on the subject of lead guards with LaVine and Beverley, I’d like to take a moment to highlight Coby White here. Dramatic improvements to his all-around game this season have helped him find a niche as an elite role player for the Bulls and will certainly be heavily featured in Chicago’s shortened rotation come playoff time.

Although he never became the lead point guard the Bulls hoped he could become straight out of the draft, Coby’s been a sponge when it comes to absorbing knowledge from the veterans and has incrementally added to his game over time. His ball handling, defense, and playmaking are all miles ahead of where they were when he first entered the league.

Don’t get me wrong, the Bulls need all the shooting they can get, especially if they are to make a genuine run in the playoffs. But Coby is no longer just a shooter, and that’s great news.

Whenever LaVine leaves the floor, I can feel comfortable knowing the Bulls won’t be entirely listless on offense with the ability to rotate White and DeMar DeRozan, keeping two of each on the floor at all times. Speaking of which, Coby’s become increasingly formidable when paired with LaVine, something he struggled with greatly in his first two seasons.

For the first time in his career, Coby is posting a positive net rating at +3.7 points per 100 possessions. This mark is good for second-best among all Bulls who have logged at least 850 minutes this season, behind only Alex Caruso himself. When Coby’s on the court, good things tend to happen more often than not, which is why I believe he deserves to continue on in a heavily-featured role in the postseason.