POP THE BOTTLES!
Coby White told reporters Monday afternoon that he will make the first start of his NBA career tomorrow against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Coby White says he’s starting Tuesday against Cleveland.
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) March 9, 2020
It’s about time!
The rookie has been playing exceptional basketball since coming out of the All-Star break, averaging 25.2 points per game with 4.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds (9 games). And although he hasn’t technically been deemed a “starter” before now, he’s still been playing some of the highest minute totals on the team over that same stretch (roughly 33 minutes per game).
Now, I say “it’s about time,” because I do think the decision to start White could’ve come sooner, but I don’t actually blame Jim Boylen for his previous-resistance. In fact, it was one of his few justifiable positions. After all, White is/was a 20-year-old rookie who struggled to shoot consistently and prove he could be anything more than a microwave scorer for this team. A spot on the bench relieved some pressure and allowed White to comfortably and confidently transition into NBA-level competition.
But right around mid-February, White showed everyone how comfortable he was, which is why I’m glad we are where we are today. It’s a good landing, even if the approach was a little … off.
- On February 25th, Boylen told reporters that White was “in a good place” and the team planned to “keep him in a good place,” practically shutting the door on any starting opportunities in the near future.
- Fast forward 10 days to March 6th, and Boylen completely changed his stance, telling the media “there might be a time that that happens.”
- Then today, on March 9th (10-straight double-digit scoring nights later), we learn that White will finally make his first start in a Bulls uniform tomorrow.
As I’ve reminded you, to this point, White has been the only 2019 lottery pick to not start a single game.
The change in the lineup means Tomas Satoransky will make a move to the bench, a position with which he’s familiar after being an on and off starter for the Washington Wizards over the past couple of seasons.
Chances are this means White will take the court with Shaquille Harrison, Denzel Valentine, Lauri Markkanen, and Wendell Carter Jr. Unfortunately, we’ll have to at least wait for one more game before we see White start alongside Zach LaVine, whom Boylen ruled out for his 5th-straight game. Nonetheless, more minutes for White alongside Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. should be a solid opportunity.
The Bulls might stink, but at least we finally got White in the starting lineup!