Bulls

Bulls Road Ahead: Can the Bulls exploit Isaiah Thomas' defense?

Bulls Road Ahead: Can the Bulls exploit Isaiah Thomas' defense?

The NBA playoffs begin for the Bulls on Sunday when they square off against the top-seeded Celtics.

Brad Stevens' group is built on depth, but at the head of that list is point guard Isaiah Thomas. The 5-foot-9 All-Star finished this season ranked second in the league in scoring (and fourth-quarter scoring) on his way to the Celtics winning 52 games.

The Bulls will have their hands full during the series, as Thomas averaged 24.8 points on 54 percent shooting in four games against them this season.

Insider Vincent Goodwill and Mark Schanowski both think the Bulls, who went 2-2 against Boston in the regular season, have a shot to steal at least a few games in the series. And one of the big ways they can do that is exploiting Thomas on the defensive end.

"The playoffs allow you to be a lot more physical against smaller players. So putting Isaiah (Thomas) in screen and rolls and beating him up a little bit and forcing switches," Goodwill said on the Bulls Road Ahead, presented by NW Indiana and Chicagoland Honda Dealers. "You can go completely big and put Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler in your backcourt and force switches and put him on the post defensively. We'll see if the Bulls are going to be creative in that way. You'd like to see Jerian Grant out there with is length and his 3-point shooting...but they  have a lot of ways they can play this from a strategy standpoint. Isaiah Thomas is a great scorer but you wonder if you can physically mess with him a little bit and see if he'll physically wear down over the course of the game."

See what else they had to say about the series in the video above.

What's in a name? Bulls guard Alec Jacoby White is here to tell you

What's in a name? Bulls guard Alec Jacoby White is here to tell you

Daniel Gafford is Coby White’s fellow rookie on the Bulls. His locker sits next to White’s at the United Center.

And even Gafford couldn’t believe it.

“Your name is what?” Gafford said, incredulously.

White laughed.

“Alec Jacoby White,” White said. “It’s what my Mom wanted to name me.”

Then why, pray tell, does the basketball world know him as Coby?

“My Aunt called me Coby so everybody started calling me Coby,” White said. “Growing up, I was used to everyone saying Coby. So that’s the name I wanted to go by. It was kind of my choice.”

White said his mother liked the names Alec and Jacoby because they were distinguished and different. Only his older sister, Tia, calls him by those names.

“She doesn’t want to be like everybody else. She wants to be different. That’s my big sister,” White said. “But I let her do whatever she wants. I don’t care.”

But White’s mother, Bonita, does. To the point that she’d go to his school open houses before the school year even began and do her son’s dirty work for him.

“Before she did that, it happened a couple times on the first day of school,” White said. “The teachers would say Alec. And everybody is looking around the room like, ‘Who is that?’ I’d be all embarrassed and say, ‘Yo, I go by Coby.’ And the teachers would be sorry. So that’s when my Mom would start that.

“She’d go to the open houses and she’d already get it right. She would say, ‘You got him listed as Alec. But change that. He goes by Coby.’ From then on, whenever I got to school, (the teachers) always said, ‘Coby White.’”

Tuesday night, as he set a Bulls franchise record with seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, the United Center crowd started chanting, “Coby! Coby!” The name is as identifiable as his signature hairstyle.

And it booms through an arena better than “Alec! Alec!” might.

“Growing up, people would call me Alec and I wouldn’t answer,” White said.

Even Gafford, sitting nearby, smiled at that one.

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Bulls Outsiders Podcast: Coby White was on fire in win over Knicks

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USA TODAY

Bulls Outsiders Podcast: Coby White was on fire in win over Knicks

On this edition of the Bulls Outsiders podcast, Matt Peck, John Sabine, and Dave Watson react to Coby White’s record-breaking game and the Bulls win over the Knicks.

0:45 - On Coby White’s unreal 4th quarter

4:45 - On Bulls fans chanting Coby’s name at the end of the game

6:00 - On Wendell Carter Jr. and another double-double

8:20 - Should Coby White be starting?

12:30 - Viewer comment on Hutchison’s role when Otto Porter returns

16:20 - If you could only choose one duo to keep: Zach/Lauri or Coby/Wendell?

19:20 - Viewer comment on a Otto Porter for D’Angelo Russell trade idea

22:00 - Viewer comment on Kris Dunn’s game

24:25 - Who should John Sabine’s new best friend be?

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

Bulls Outsiders

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