Now That's More Like It! Bulls 104, Rockets 91

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Now That’s More Like It! Bulls 104, Rockets 91

Chicago Bulls

Ah, that’s better. 

Two nights after getting beat 125-104 in their first preseason matchup of the 2020-21 season, the Chicago Bulls bounced back. The Sunday night contest ended in a 104-91 victory for the boys in white, and it was in large part due to the man by the same name.

After scoring a shaky 15 points and 6 assists on Friday night, head coach Billy Donovan unleashed Coby White. The second-year guard played 32 minutes of action and finished with 20 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds. He shot 7-15 from the field and 4-7 from downtown, pretty much picking up where he left off at the end of last season. Even better, however, White looks liked a starting point guard. Where there were questions Friday night, there were answers on Sunday. Sure, he ended with one fewer assist overall, but he expressed little hesitation and a lot more confidence distributing the basketball.

Does this not look like a point guard to you?

Look, he’ll have to keep taking steps in the right direction, but a performance like tonight demonstrates why the 20-year-old is certainly worth a shot in the lead guard role.

White’s 20 preseason game points weren’t enough to lead the team, though. Zach LaVine did plenty of Zach LaVine things in this one, dropping 23 points, grabbing 9 boards, and dishing 5 assists in 27 minutes of action. All things considered, that’s more than you need to see from your best player in the preseason.

Meanwhile, the frontcourt duo of Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen struggled to add much to the scoreboard with just 10 combined points. Markkanen, specifically, had a tough day, going 1-10 from the field and 0-5 from downtown. In my opinion, however, those numbers make things look a lot worse than they actually were. Markkanen still played with an increased level of aggression, and he fought his way to 7 rebounds. He obviously needs to play better and hit his shots, but it still feels like the big man is headed in a better direction than last season.

Turnovers were still a problem for the team as a whole, but they just were able to convert better on offense and give more effort on defense to cancel out some of the trouble. Overall, it was a much improved all-around performance, and I don’t think we could’ve asked for much more.

The most encouraging part of this to me is the fact that the Bulls were able to make this kind of turnaround in just a couple of days. To see the coaching staff help this roster flip the switch with just one practice is a positive sign for future poor performances. We’ll have to see if they can keep that up.

Anyway, there is some possible bad news we have to address tonight. The Bulls had several players away from the team due to “excused absences,” including Tomas Satoransky, Noah Vonleh, Devon Dotson, and Luke Kornet. After the game, Donovan said he wasn’t allowed to give much insight on why they were away from the team, but signs could point to it being COVID-related. We’ll have to keep a close eye on this over the next couple of days.

More tomorrow!



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.