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White stays ready, comes up clutch in big win vs. Bucks

/ by K.C. Johnson
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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MILWAUKEE — With Goran Dragić sidelined by a left cervical stinger, everybody knew Coby White’s opportunity would come Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum.

But nobody could have known how large the fourth-year guard would deliver.

White sank a tying 3-pointer with 1 minute, 15 seconds left and then added the go-ahead 3-pointer with 46.1 seconds left after Alex Caruso drew a charge from Giannis Antetokounmpo in the Chicago Bulls’ impressive victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

“That’s Cob,” DeMar DeRozan said. “I got the utmost confidence in Cob every time he shoots the ball. I tell him all the time that if he misses one, two three, keep shooting it. He got that capability to get hot.

"Any moment of the game, I’m looking for Cob. That one he hit in the corner, I knew if his man collapsed, I was going to find him and he was going to knock it down. That’s what he does.”

Indeed, DeRozan assisted on the go-ahead 3-pointer, one of the Bulls’ season-high 18 makes on the night. This is the significance of White, who finished with 14 points, four 3-pointers and three steals in an extremely active night. For a team largely devoid of 3-point shooting, White can supply it in a hurry.

“He changed the game,” DeRozan said. “Cob gets hot, any given game he can make six or eight 3s. He changes the way defenses guard us when he’s out there.”

White had played just four and 14 minutes in his first two games back from missing eight with a left thigh contusion. He shot 1-for-7 from 3-point range in those two contests.

 

But to hear teammates tell it, they always believe the next shot is going in.

“He’s been doing that his whole career. He stays ready. He’s confident,” Zach LaVine said. “He’s not scared to take or miss any shot. That’s what I’ve always respected about him. It’s nothing new. He’s done it before.”

White actually exited with 6:21 left but returned with 3:55 to play after Ayo Dosunmu committed an ugly turnover. Coach Billy Donovan said afterward that he originally went with Dosunmu because of the offensive-minded lineups the Bucks were using and the matchups they created.

“But we seemed a little out of sorts. I just felt like we were going to need some perimeter shooting because they were going to load the floor and shift. I thought he’d (White) get some looks and he could help us,” Donovan said, explaining his decision to re-insert White. “With the way DeMar was being guarded, I thought he was going to need some guys around he could throw the ball to.”

White actually missed his first 3-point look after re-entering. But Donovan applauded the offensive possession and shot attempt because it came off good player and ball movement.

“He can course correct pretty quickly,” Donovan said. “The one thing I love about Coby is there’s a resiliency there. He doesn’t get too down on himself. He stays engaged and just believes in himself.”

And that belief produced two huge shots in the Bulls’ biggest victory of the season.

“My teammates made the right play. I was open and they found me,” White said. “It wasn’t really anything special. I finally knocked down a couple shots.”

White describes himself as a pretty chill guy. Him heating up could do wonders for the Bulls’ fortunes moving forward.

And about that resilience to which Donovan alluded: It extends beyond on-court misses and to another challenging season in which he has experienced injury and inconsistent minutes.

“I just trust my work,” White said. “It hasn’t been an ideal start to the season for me, being hurt, being out of the rotation. I got an opportunity and I just tried to leave an imprint on the game.”

Mission accomplished.

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