Jim Boylen says Chicago is going to run with Coby White
Jim Boylen did enough after taking over for the ousted Fred Hoiberg in early December to establish himself as the Chicago Bulls’ head coach of the present and future. Many were disappointed at that development despite the team’s relative improvement over the second half of the 2018-19 season due to Boylen’s old-school approach to the game. Most notably, his affinity for half-court basketball and prioritizing post-ups doesn’t jibe with a league increasingly intent on pushing the boundaries of pace, space, and efficiency.
Coby White was a smart pick for Chicago at No. 7 regardless. The Bulls had a hole at point guard despite the presence of Kris Dunn, a high-lottery pick three years ago, and were sorely in need of a shooter to pair with the ball-dominant Zach LaVine in the backcourt. But would they be able to get the most out of White if Boylen didn’t commit to tweaking his offense to account for the North Carolina product’s breathtaking speed with the ball in his hands? No way.
As he said at White’s introductory press conference on Monday, though, Boylen has every intention of maximizing his team’s transition opportunities with a lead guard like White in tow.
Jim Boylen says the #Bulls "have to run with" Coby White. He believes Bulls have potential to push the pace as well as anyone given White's speed with the ball in his hands.
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) June 24, 2019
Chicago finished 23rd in pace last season after Boylen took over on the sidelines. The team ranked 17th in pace under Hoiberg.
White averaged 16.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.1 steals as a freshman for the Tar Heels last season. He shot 42.3 percent overall and 35.3 percent from three-point range, indicative of his need to play alongside another creator like LaVine to maximize his efficiency. The surest means of doing so? Ensuring the 6-foot-5 blur plays in open space as much as possible, a reality Boylen, thankfully, seems to understand.