Last night, we got our first real glimpse at the Chicago Bulls ongoing point guard competition. And while each player had their solid moments of their own, the game certainly didn’t end with a clear favorite.
Jim Boylen calls it a fair assessment to say no one in the #Bulls point guard competition — Kris Dunn, Tomas Satoransky or Coby White — stood out tonight over the others.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) October 8, 2019
Despite rave reviews during the course of this offseason, Kris Dunn looked just about as expected. He had a fine performance, posting 11 points with three assists and three rebounds, but failed to take advantage of the starting opportunity. And it wasn’t for a lack of time either, Jim Boylen gave him plenty of minutes on the court relative to his teammates (24 min, second-most on the team).
The best I can probably say for last night is that Dunn looked like a team player. As the game went on, you could tell that he’s fully on board the team’s quick ball movement approach, and did a nice job keeping the offense in motion. Coming off the bench will be a different feeling for the former-starter, but it might be a lot easier to stand out with the less-equipped second unit.
Bulls free-agent signing Tomas Satoransky had a rather quiet first game at the United Center. But if you ask me, he probably had the best all-around performance of the night.
While he shot just 1-6 from the field, Satoransky made up for it with seven rebounds, three assists and five steals. Playing off the ball for practically the entire game, you can tell it was tough for Satoransky to find a rhythm offensively. A decent spot-up shooter, he didn’t get any looks beyond the three-point line despite the team shooting 38 three-pointers throughout the night. Satoransky’s start is certainly right around the corner, so I’ll be watching to see if he can get a couple more clean shots off while running point.
As for Coby White, he drew plenty of praise from his head coach: “He didn’t look nervous,” Boylen told reporters. “He was poised, tough, physical and confident. No moment is too big for him. He’s getting better and better and better.”
When it came to driving toward the basket, White looked way better than he did in Summer League. He finished decently well around the rim and also managed to draw contact surprisingly well. However, one of his biggest, most glaring problems of the offseason still reared its ugly head: shooting.
Oddly enough, White has a nice jumper with a quick release, but he just hasn’t been able to get his shots to fall so far as a Bull. With that said, his decision-making felt like the real problem during the Summer League, but I didn’t have any issues with the looks this time around. Throughout college, he managed to control the mid-range game pretty well, and while I know the Bulls are trying to steer away from that, it might be worth letting White try to drain a couple from 15 feet out.
Defensively, I thought White looked better than anticipated. With how quickly he tends to pick things up, I fully expect his defense presence to quickly fall out of the “liability” category some put him around the draft. Boylen agrees: “I also thought he learned some things defensively tonight,” Boylen said. “He learned some guys in our league can shoot it. He got back cut a couple of times. He realized the spacing in our league is different. As well as he played, he’s going to learn a ton each night.”
As the preseason goes on, I have a feeling none of the point guards numbers will really jump out at you. Satoransky has the best opportunity of balancing the stat sheet, but Boylen’s decision will most likely come down to offensive flow and gameplan.
This should be fun!