Coby White is still listed as Bulls starting point guard, with a but

The last two games has seen coach Billy Donovan take some of the point guard responsibilities off of White’s plate, freeing him up to be a scorer. That means Tomas Satoransky and Zach LaVine are chipping in for the point guard-by-committee.

SHARE Coby White is still listed as Bulls starting point guard, with a but
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One glance at the Bulls’ latest depth chart, and Coby White still is listed as the starting point guard.

The key word is listed.

The reality on the court is a bit different. Coach Billy Donovan uses a little bit of White and some Zach LaVine, with Tomas Satoransky getting more and more time.

Don’t expect that to change anytime soon, either.

Donovan shed light on the subject when asked on Sunday if the White experiment as the full-time point guard was over or simply in a state of flux to take some responsibility off of White’s plate.

“I don’t know if I’d say I reached that assessment,’’ Donovan said. “I would say that this is kind of [White’s] first year doing this. It’s new. I think I mentioned maybe a couple days ago, he’s done a really good job in terms of being responsible and accountable to wanting to play better and help the team. And I appreciate that from him. But the other part of it too is he also has some strengths. He’s a really good shooter and when he gets a head of steam in transition, if he can get into the teeth of the defense, he does a good job finding guys.’’

It’s the shooting portion that Donovan has been focusing on the last two games.

Even in an NBA where positions are less defined, Donovan wants his players to have specific responsibilities, and White started out the year as the lead guard. White’s focus shifted more toward making the right pass, leading to too many possessions of indecision, with White still caught between understanding when to score and when to get his teammates to score.

It’s a trait that’s innate in many point guards, and while White always has played with the ball in his hands through high school and in his one year at North Carolina, the end goal was for him to put the ball in the basket in most cases.

The nuance of point-guard play has been lost on him somewhat.

So starting in the win against the Pelicans on Wednesday, Donovan was having White handle the ball far less than he was, becoming more of that catch-and-shoot two-guard that allows him to play with more freedom.

The results so far?

White scored 30 with eight three-pointers against the Pelicans and followed that with 17 points in a loss to the Clippers on Friday.

Meanwhile, Satoransky has led the team in assists the last two games, recording eight against the Pelicansand seven against the Clippers.

“I do think he can play the point-guard position,’’ Donovan said. “I do think he can improve in that area. And at 20 years old, he’s going to keep getting better. But I’ve tried to maybe find the proper balance or the right balance for him where he is playing some point but he’s also playing to his strengths as well. Some of that, I think for him, is finding that balance.’’

White needs to improve his understanding of how to set up his defender on screens, not only the angle, but being more deceptive in hiding where the screen is coming from. He also needs to improve initiating the offense off of opposition misses, and getting his teammates organized as they attack the other way.

Donovan said White does a good job in that department off of made baskets, but that’s another step he has to climb.

“I don’t want to pass judgement to say, ‘Oh, he can never do that,’ ’’ Donovan said. “Because I think there are things that can be learned and taught. But right now, trying to get him to play to his strengths but also understand he’s also got some responsibilities for our team as well.’’

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