ATLANTA The way much-maligned Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer gets criticized by some observers these days, one would think he hadnt won a national championship at Duke, been a two-time Western Conference All-Star or won a 2008 Olympic gold medal alongside the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.The last accomplishment, in particular, is a rarity and something nobody will ever be able to take away from him, but according to reports, Boozer wont have the opportunity to duplicate the feat in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.According to reports, Boozer, along with Pistons small forward Tayshaun Prince, recently-signed Suns sharpshooter Michael Redd and Mavericks veteran point guard Jason Kiddthe latter will reportedly be invited back to serve in some sort of coaching capacity, a role he fulfilled with the gold medal-winning 2010 USA World Championships squad, of which Bulls point guard Derrick Rose was a part of has already been ruled out of consideration for the 2012 team.In fact, besides Clippers power forward Blake Griffin, no players who didnt play on either the 2008 Olympic team or the 2010 World Championships group will be up for consideration to play in London.The Bulls will still be well-represented, as Luol Deng will play for the host country, Great Britain, Joakim Noah will play for France, which qualified after finishing second in last summers FIBA EuroBasket tournament and Rose is a near-guarantee to make the USA team.
Coby White is enjoying a special stretch of basketball right now. In each of the Bulls’ past two games entering Tuesday night’s matchup with the Thunder, White set and matched career-high scoring totals with consecutive 33 point-games — something no rookie reserve had ever done.
But Chris Paul was determined to stop it.
“I told Coby he wasn’t going to score 33 tonight,” said Paul, who coached White at the AAU level and has forged a deep bond with him since.
Mission accomplished… Sort of.
White poured in a new career-high of 35 points in a nail-biter of a 124-122 loss to Oklahoma City, shooting 13-for-21 from the field and 6-for-9 from 3-point range. At 20 years old and in his first NBA season, White has now logged three 30-point games in a row, all off the bench. Here are a few reasons that is statistically ridiculous:
White is the first reserve in Bulls franchise history to post three consecutive 30-point games (via Bulls Game Notes)
White is the first rookie to score 30 points in three consecutive games since starters were first recorded in 1970-71 (via ESPN Stats & Info)
He’s also the first rookie to achieve that feat while hitting five or more 3-pointers in each game since the 3-point shot was introduced in 1979-80 (via Elias Sports Bureau)
Zach LaVine and White became the second pair of Chicago teammates in franchise history to each score 30-plus points in consecutive games, joining Bob Love and Chet Walker, who did it in 1969 (via Elias Sports Bureau)
White is the first Bulls rookie to score 35 points in a game since Ben Gordon in 2005. Other Bulls rookies to score 35 points in a game: Michael Jordan (21 times) and Elton Brand (twice). Solid company (via Bulls Game Notes)
In his last three games, White is averaging 33.7 points per on 57.4/58.1/92.9 shooting splits (20.3 FGA/g, 10.3 3PA/g).
In that stretch, the Bulls are scoring at a rate of 120.1 points per 100 possessions (with a +15.6 net rating) with White on the floor, and just 92.2 points per 100 (with a -41.8 net rating) with him off.
I don’t have any further historical context for those last two. They’re just absurd.
“That’s what he [does]. He shoots lights out,” Paul said. “I’m glad to see that he’s playing with that confidence, and this summer we’ll get in the gym and we’ll go to work.”
Respect 🤝 pic.twitter.com/xTk2hz44Xe— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) February 26, 2020
“He’s coming into his own, and I’ve said this from day one, he’s special. He can score the ball like no other,” Zach LaVine said. “He’s continuing to get better. He’s 20 years old, I think he’s starting to find his groove right now.”
LaVine and White combined for 76 of the Bulls’ 122 points against Oklahoma City, collectively keeping the team’s offensive afloat in a floundering first half, then vaulting them back into the game with an infernic third quarter. LaVine (with 19 points) and White (with nine) combined for 28 points on collective 12-for-17 shooting (4-for-6 from deep) in the third, a period the Bulls won 38-19.
“It’s been great, especially with both of us on the court,” LaVine said. “There was a couple times in the fourth — that third quarter, when we were down, I spent so much energy trying to get us back into it — and he held onto that lead for us.
“But it’s been great, man. He’s been putting a lot of hard work in. I go into the gym late or I shoot after practice and he’s right there. He’s gonna be special.”
White played 33 minutes in the game and was a team-high +15. When he’s ‘on’ he makes the Bulls fun, interesting and electric. LaVine went on to sing gratitude for White’s ability to draw defensive attention away from him over the course of games, and shoulder on-ball responsibilities in spot moments.
Just don’t ask Jim Boylen if he’s ready to promote White to the starting lineup.
“I keep getting this question and I'm just going to answer it one more time,” Boylen said. “Coby’s in a good place. We’re going to keep him in a good place. Let’s let Coby keep playing and lets let him keep developing.”
Point taken. And the way things are going, perhaps that’s perfectly OK.
On this edition of the Bulls Outsiders podcast, Matt Peck, John Sabine, and David Watson react to the Bulls 124-122 loss and another great game from Coby White.
0:45 - Welcome back, John Sabine!
1:45 - On Coby White's career-high 35 points
4:25 - What Coby and Zach do for each other when on the floor together
6:00 - On the Bulls overcoming a huge deficit
8:10 - On the Thunder and their surprising success this season
13:05 - Viewer comment on Outsiders seating arrangement
13:45 - Viewer comment on Coby going for the All-Rookie second team
15:50 - On playing Zach and Coby together and White not starting
19:45 - Viewer comment on getting Coby another nickname
20:25 - Viewer comment on expectations for when Otto Porter comes back
21:45 - On potential of Shaq Harrison starting over Ryan Arcidiacono
22:55 - Viewer comment on Outsiders shirts
23:40 - Viewer comment on Bulls needs at small forward
26:10 - On Coby blowing past the rookie wall
Listen here or in the embedded player below.