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White/Lavine Staring Backcourt

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White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#1 » by Jvaughn » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:10 am

From a PippenAintEasy article about the pairing of Zach and Coby:

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about the potential of LaVine and White. We saw both players set records for the Bulls, as they were often the only bright spots in an otherwise frustrating season. White became the Bulls player and NBA rookie ever to hit seven threes in a quarter. LaVine is Bulls the record-holder for made threes in a season.

They combined for 58 games of 20-plus points, and 22 30-plus point performances. LaVine did a lot of the Bulls heavy lifting and even hit 40 points in six games, maxing-out with 49 (including the game-winner) against the Charlotte Hornets.


But there are some important things to note. LaVine, for all of his scoring prowess, has done much of it by sheer volume. He is seventh among starting guards in usage, but he also has the lowest assist percentage and the second-worst assist to turnover ratio among the top-10. Even as a point guard his rookie year his assist percentage was 24 percent.


White has had the typical rookie bouts with efficiency, with 24 games of nine points or less. Mixed in there were three contests where he shot a combined 0-24 from the floor, one of which resulted in a goose egg.

A slash line of .394/.354/.791 is not desirable, especially for a guard. He was drafted as a point guard, but White was always known as more of a scorer than a playmaker, though he will occasionally pull a nice dime out of his bag. He was correcting both by season’s end; posting a .480/.432/.903 line and averaging 4.4 assists over the final nine games.


https://pippenainteasy.com/2020/06/27/chicago-bulls-perils-starting-zach-coby/

This article got me thinking. I wasn't the biggest Coby fan when he was drafted, but he definitely earned my respect towards the end of the season. It's a shame we didn't get to see him finish off the season.

Now while we know what they can do scoring, there are two main issues that make this pairing troublesome. Both of them are score first, score second players. And they both have their defensive limitations.

While these are both valid concerns, both of them have shown flashes in both those areas, which leads me to believe a good coach can make it work. Coby has shown he can be a disruptive defender when he's locked in. Now he's definitely got to get better off the ball and fighting through screens, but those should be thing a good coaching staff should be able to work on with him.

Now, I'm probably alone on this, but I saw some games this year where Zach had to be put on the other teams best guard because Sato was either struggling with speed issues or he was on a larger wing. There were some late game situations where Zach was locked in and forced some really tough shots. He was very impressive and showed that when he wants to he can be an average to above average defender.

He'll never be Patrick Beverly on that side of the ball with the offensive role he's asked to play, but he really only needs to be passable here. His biggest issue has always been off the ball defense. I'm honestly not sure what we can do to improve here. He has lapses where he loses his man or doesn't rotate in enough time. Hopefully some new defensive schemes can mask this a bit.

Now on the offensive side of the ball, I don't expect Coby to ever be an 10apg guy, but 6-7apg would be welcome in the right offensive sets. To get the most of the pairing our new coach is definitely going to have to overhaul the offense completely to get more ball movement ala GS and DEN.

Zach's situation is more optimistic. We saw a few games where his shot wasn't falling and he went into straight facilitator mode. He's shown he's a good passer when he wants to be. His only issue is that he hasn't figured out how to mix the playmaking with getting his own consistently. If he can take that step to become that dual threat, I don't see why he can't be a top 10-15 player.

Just wanted to get you guys thoughts. Do you think the pairing can work, or do we definitely need to bring in a pass first player and move Coby to a permanent 6th man role? If we're to be in position to draft someone like Hayes or even a Lamelo, I think that would be the ideal move.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#2 » by Dez » Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:42 am

Zach has shown he's a very capable man defender, it's the other aspects of defense he needs to continue to improve on.

Coby surprised me, definitely can develop into an adequate defender.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#3 » by kulaz3000 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:17 am

Dez wrote:Zach has shown he's a very capable man defender, it's the other aspects of defense he needs to continue to improve on.

Coby surprised me, definitely can develop into an adequate defender.


It's good that he has improved as far as man defense goes, but it's far more important to be a good team defender, and too often he is seemingly lost or isn't focused on that end.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#4 » by _txchilibowl_ » Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:26 am

First one to blink gets traded....
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#5 » by wonderboy2 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 4:59 am

Honestly this backcourt could be lethal. Whites defense was a major surprise. He has quick feet and tries hard on that end. That is more than half the battle. White is already better defensively than Sato. Zach who gets a lot of criticism for his defense was probably the bulls best perimeter man defender besides Dunn last year. Quick guards have a hard time penetrating on Lavine. Guards hardly ever iso Lavine either because it’s not effective. I’m not saying he’s a lock down defender but his on ball defense is pretty good. Lavine off ball defense improved last year as well. Still needs a lot of improvement. But when Dunn went down Lavine has to guard the toughest guard each night because Satos on ball defense was poor.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#6 » by Dez » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:21 am

kulaz3000 wrote:
Dez wrote:Zach has shown he's a very capable man defender, it's the other aspects of defense he needs to continue to improve on.

Coby surprised me, definitely can develop into an adequate defender.


It's good that he has improved as far as man defense goes, but it's far more important to be a good team defender, and too often he is seemingly lost or isn't focused on that end.


I assume you're referring to LaVine and I agree, the improvement is happening but it's a slow process.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#7 » by nomorezorro » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:49 am

i like coby and zach. but it would take a very, very specific set of circumstances to make a starting backcourt work when it projects as mediocre at creating for others, iffy on defense and reliant on a lot of shots to be most effective.

unless you can draft lamelo ball or somehow acquire ben simmons i don't think it's a realistic long-term combo to build around. maybe i'm wrong though!
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#8 » by Jvaughn » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:10 am

nomorezorro wrote:i like coby and zach. but it would take a very, very specific set of circumstances to make a starting backcourt work when it projects as mediocre at creating for others, iffy on defense and reliant on a lot of shots to be most effective.

unless you can draft lamelo ball or somehow acquire ben simmons i don't think it's a realistic long-term combo to build around. maybe i'm wrong though!


I hear you, and I'm not saying it would be easy, but Denver has been able to do it with their backcourt. Now granted they have an absolute great passer at center they can run things through.

I guess a better example would be Golden State. Steph was never looked at as a great passer initially. So much so that people questioned if he'd have to play SG at the pro level. I'd say a ball movement system like GS would be a better model to emulate. We'd need a very creative staff to make that work. Sadly I don't think any of the available options would fit that mold.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#9 » by nomorezorro » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:15 am

yeah i thought about adding "it could work if wendell somehow becomes nikola jokic on offense" to that post but it felt too implausible to even mention.

also thought about making a caveat about coby developing legit pg skills, which isn't really an absurd notion even if i don't think it's too likely based on the skillset he's shown thus far. barring any big roster changes, i definitely think you should roll with a coby/zach starting backcourt in the short-term because you should at least try to develop the PG you drafted in the lottery as a legit lead guard
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#10 » by nomorezorro » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:18 am

ever since we got him i've said we shouldn't rule out zach as a potential Legit Lead Guard either but i dunno, he's headed into the second year of his second contract...at a certain point it just feels like you're trying to sell yourself on something that's almost certainly not gonna happen.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#11 » by Jvaughn » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:30 am

nomorezorro wrote:yeah i thought about adding "it could work if wendell somehow becomes nikola jokic on offense" to that post but it felt too implausible to even mention.

also thought about making a caveat about coby developing legit pg skills, which isn't really an absurd notion even if i don't think it's too likely based on the skillset he's shown thus far. barring any big roster changes, i definitely think you should roll with a coby/zach starting backcourt in the short-term because you should at least try to develop the PG you drafted in the lottery as a legit lead guard


Yeah I definitely wasn't going to bring up the Wendell Jokic thing either. lol

Definitely much better chance of Coby developing some legit PG skills. Honestly if the game ever slows down for him, and he learns how to better utilize the PnR game, I think he could figure it out. Not sure how efficient our overall offer as would be there though. He'd have to become Chauncey Billups like for it to work.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#12 » by Little Nathan » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:49 am

No chance Coby + Zach is the backcourt of the Bulls' future IMO. I like Coby and think he can be a very good role player, but doubt he can become a lead guard. Zach definitely can't. Defensively, it's also hard to imagine how that would work. Would require a very special team around them to make that pairing viable.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#13 » by wonderboy2 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:58 am

It’s funny people say it can’t work defensively but they were probably are 2 best on ball defenders besides Dunn and Shaq Harrison. Nobody ever say anything about Satos defense and he started. Sato was our worst perimeter defender last year. He might have been better than Valentine but it’s close.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#14 » by wonderboy2 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:01 am

Coby and Lavine are the most talented players on the bulls and it’s not even close. I know this board don’t like to hear it but it’s true. Coby took a lot of pressure off Lavine when he played. It was a breath of fresh air watching Coby take Satos spot at point guard. Sato was one of the worst starting point guards I’ve seen in a long time.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#15 » by sco » Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:50 am

IMO, their success will be dependent on:

1) Getting additional defense out of the other 3 starters...Lauri is the key there - he'll need to get better and be at least NBA average.
2) Having a C who sets real picks. IIRC, White found his best success when Felicio was out there setting picks. WCJ needs to develop the ability (and willingness) to actually make contact on picks (without picking up fouls).
3) Getting additional play making out of the other 3 starters. All 3 of Lauri, Otto and WCJ have shown some ability here. We don't have a Simmons or Giannis, but maybe the combination of 3 good guys will help.

I am less optimistic that these things will happen during the first half of the season, if at all, due to the fact that it takes time for guys to not look slow and inefficient in a new system...especially young guys.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#16 » by TeamMan » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:37 pm

sco wrote:IMO, their success will be dependent on:

1) Getting additional defense out of the other 3 starters...Lauri is the key there - he'll need to get better and be at least NBA average.
2) Having a C who sets real picks. IIRC, White found his best success when Felicio was out there setting picks. WCJ needs to develop the ability (and willingness) to actually make contact on picks (without picking up fouls).
3) Getting additional play making out of the other 3 starters. All 3 of Lauri, Otto and WCJ have shown some ability here. We don't have a Simmons or Giannis, but maybe the combination of 3 good guys will help.

I'm less optimistic that these things will happen during the first half of the season, if at all, due to the fact that it takes time for guys to not look slow and inefficient in a new system...especially young guys.

I'm pretty sure it was in the "Is Gafford better than Wendell?" thread, but I suggested that we have a starting lineup of:

C- Gafford
PF - WCJ
SF - Defensived minded D-&-3 player
SG - Zach
PG - Coby


It's also my expectation that the Bulls will draft a SF this year that could fill that role.

Part of that suggestion was moving Hutch to backup SG. That's because I believe that with his height, length and quickness he could be an excellent defender at the SG position. He also has an excellent handle that would allow him to play SG.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#17 » by dougthonus » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:38 pm

I feel like watching LaVine that he's just 2-3 bad decisions a night away from being a very capable combo guard. I think Coby is just maturity away from being the same thing. I think the pairing definitely has potential.

It's hard for me to gauge if Zach just has complete tunnel vision or if part of it is the offense and personnel around him. The Bulls often look for Zach to completely bail them out, and I think some of his bad habits may drop if they had better threats around him more consistently. If it was Zach, Coby, Porter, Lauri, and Carter, and they were all healthy and playing well, then I think a good chunk of Zach's forcing of the issue would just go away which is where most of his problems lie.

Coby probably develops into the guy you want in a few years. He just needs more shooting consistency and time in the league. Upside is questionable to me, but I think he has the basic things you want there. I don't think Coby will ever be a stopper due to length, but he's high effort, high energy, and I think he won't be a pushover on defense either.

I'm not in love with that pairing as a combo, but I don't hate it either.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#18 » by Showtime23 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:28 pm

TeamMan wrote:
sco wrote:IMO, their success will be dependent on:

1) Getting additional defense out of the other 3 starters...Lauri is the key there - he'll need to get better and be at least NBA average.
2) Having a C who sets real picks. IIRC, White found his best success when Felicio was out there setting picks. WCJ needs to develop the ability (and willingness) to actually make contact on picks (without picking up fouls).
3) Getting additional play making out of the other 3 starters. All 3 of Lauri, Otto and WCJ have shown some ability here. We don't have a Simmons or Giannis, but maybe the combination of 3 good guys will help.

I'm less optimistic that these things will happen during the first half of the season, if at all, due to the fact that it takes time for guys to not look slow and inefficient in a new system...especially young guys.

I pretty sure it was in the "Is Gafford better than Wendell?" thread, but I suggested that we have a starting lineup of:

C- Gafford
PF - WCJ
SF - Defensived minded D-&-3 player
SG - Zach
PG - Coby


It's also my expectation that the Bulls will draft a SF this year that could fill that role.

Part of that suggestion was moving Hutch to backup SG. That's because I believe that with his height, length and quickness he could be an excellent defender at the SG position. He also has an excellent handle that would allow him to play SG.


Unless Hutch becomes that SF u sugggested for, no. Because Otto already fits that description and the Bulls would be at best 8th seed treadmill team for the next decade. Gafford and WCJ are redundant so its useless to play them together. What kind of lottery team is already capped out when theres no stars on the team?

dougthonus wrote:I feel like watching LaVine that he's just 2-3 bad decisions a night away from being a very capable combo guard. I think Coby is just maturity away from being the same thing. I think the pairing definitely has potential.

It's hard for me to gauge if Zach just has complete tunnel vision or if part of it is the offense and personnel around him. The Bulls often look for Zach to completely bail them out, and I think some of his bad habits may drop if they had better threats around him more consistently. If it was Zach, Coby, Porter, Lauri, and Carter, and they were all healthy and playing well, then I think a good chunk of Zach's forcing of the issue would just go away which is where most of his problems lie.

Coby probably develops into the guy you want in a few years. He just needs more shooting consistency and time in the league. Upside is questionable to me, but I think he has the basic things you want there. I don't think Coby will ever be a stopper due to length, but he's high effort, high energy, and I think he won't be a pushover on defense either.

I'm not in love with that pairing as a combo, but I don't hate it either.


Lavine is just who he is. 2-3 decisions is what separates from stars to ok players and its not like Lavine makes only couple every game. Most of the time, I can see dozens he make and 2-3 usually at crunch time. Fumble the ball, create to, jack up a bad shot etc.
Its not like White, Lavine are terrible players but those two are a terrible lineup together. The plus minus suggests my point.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#19 » by ATRAIN53 » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:57 pm

Could and should be awesome but a couple of things need to happen-

You can't explain to them at had Butler stayed and worked better with Rose - what we could have had.

Bulls need to learn from that and extend Zach so he's not playing like he's protecting his job from Cody.
Encourage them to play together, word HARD to develop this relationship. Sit them down, ask them to sacrifice for better of team.

Too bad we just let him walk, but we could have had ambassador Scottie walk in the room, dump 6 rings on the table and ask them if they think he could have won those by himself. (spoiler: NO)

Someone needs to explain to Zach that even if he scores 30 PPG - no one is taking him as a serious MVP canidate until he shows lock down defender potential. We're not asking for DPOY, but he has to be known as a 2 way guy. He can do this, the guy works for it.

I think they can mesh and fit well - but it's key to make them bond off the court.
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Re: White/Lavine Staring Backcourt 

Post#20 » by ChettheJet » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:59 pm

It's the right way to start out and see how it goes, I think much of what people point to statistically with Lavine is due to him not having enough help on offense and having to do too much.Especially the turnovers. He's not a PG but since he is forced to handle the ball more than anybody else he's going to get more turnovers. Porter, Markkanen and Carter injured for good portions of two seasons. Dunn injured every few months every season he's been here, a decent playmaker but no shooting threat for other teams to respect. White coming off the bench and getting his head wrapped around being a pro and NBA legs under him. This year I think Satoransky could have shot the ball more often. Hutchison when he's played cautious to shoot at best.

That's why I would like to start White and see if having a scoring threat next to Lavine helps him to not have to force so much. Porter if he could play would be a skilled passer at the SF and a guy when others have the hot hand scoring in a given game, doesn't care if he gets as many shots as he thinks he's entitled to. Markkanen as well, if he's healthy and shooting that spaces the floor for Zach and reduces the double teams.

Plenty of people bellyache about the coaching, I'd like to see what Pops could do with as many substitute players the Bulls have thrown in when they needed guys two levels higher that were injured. I'd like to see the healthy lineup they project for next season actually play together and in their imagined roles, not out of position or starting when they as second team players. If for no other reason than to see who stays and who goes at the trade deadline and the following off season

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