Bulls’ backcourt rotation remains unsettled
Coby White was sidelined again Sunday, this time because of a coronavirus test that came back questionable, and coach Billy Donovan is still trying to figure out how he wants to use his new-look backcourt combinations.
Coach Billy Donovan has seen glimpses, focused on a few things, but his backcourt rotations remain in flux.
After five games with his new-look roster, Donovan’s backcourt is unsettled because of availability issues.
The Bulls found out Sunday morning that Coby White would miss another game after some uncertainty with a coronavirus test.
“We’ll probably find out more in the next 24 to 48 hours,’’ Donovan said.
White has missed three of the last four games.
With Garrett Temple still out with a hamstring injury, Donovan was tinkering with how he wants to employ Troy Brown Jr., Javonte Green, Denzel Valentine and Ryan Arcidiacono.
“It’s been hard because, for example, Coby’s out [Sunday] because of COVID protocols,’’ Donovan said. “Garrett’s out. We had Zach [LaVine], Garrett and Coby out [on the road trip]. Now all of a sudden, you’re looking at different rotations with a rotational player being down in Coby and another rotational player being down in Garrett.
‘‘You’re having to look at some different things, so I don’t think we’ve necessarily played completely whole for any length of time since the trade deadline.
‘‘It’s hard to get to because when we add players or players go out, it’s kind of changing that rotation piece.’’
That hasn’t been the case for the frontcourt.
Nikola Vucevic and Daniel Theis have fit right in with Thad Young and Lauri Markkanen. It helps that all of them have been available and that their skills are interchangeable.
“Lauri can play with any combination, so can ‘Vooch,’ ’’ Donovan said. “But you want to utilize guys together. Thad is a unique player; he’s played with ‘Vooch’ before. ‘Vooch’ can step away from the basket; Thad can play closer.
‘‘Same thing with Lauri and Daniel. Daniel’s probably more comfortable around the basket, although he’s improved his shooting. Lauri’s been more of a perimeter player, so you try to work things where they can have good floor spacing and balance.
‘‘But the [backcourt] combination part, that rotation part has been hard because we haven’t been whole.’’
No rookie blues
Patrick Williams had some tough games on the four-game trip because of difficult matchups.
Having to guard Devin Booker and Donovan Mitchell would humble most 19-year-olds, but Williams has proved all season long that he’s not your average 19-year-old.
With the Bulls heading into a key part of the schedule against very beatable teams, Williams wants to continue getting the defensive assignments against the top players, whether they’re guards or forwards.
“The guy that I want to be, I want to guard guys like that every night,’’ Williams said.
“Whether it’s a big or a guard, I just want to guard the best player every night. That’s the kind of guy I want to be in this league, night in and night out.’’