Sunday, May 19, 2024

One Mind-Blowing Stat From Coby White’s Historic Play-In Performance

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Wednesday night ended in celebration for the Chicago Bulls, who topped the 10th-seeded Atlanta Hawks 131-116 in their first of two must-win Play-In Tournament games. Facing elimination, they raced to a 40-22 first-quarter lead, which quickly vanished before heading into halftime leading by six. Behind 25 second-half points from Coby White, Chicago pulled away late and cruised to a 16-point victory. Finishing with 42 points (career-high), six assists, and nine rebounds, there’s still one name he’s left chasing in the history books. Unfortunately for White, these stats also don’t contribute to his regular season or postseason totals, leaving this outing out of the record books on paper. What’s still the craziest part of last night, and can White replicate his performance against a crippled Miami team on Friday night?

Always Chasing The GOAT

Even though Coby White lit the NBA on fire with last night’s flame show, he yet again quickly put in perspective just how spectacular Michael Jordan was. Yesterday’s performance made White only the second Chicago Bull to post 40 or more points, five or more rebounds, five or more assists, and zero turnovers. The only catch? Jordan did it on four separate occasions. At only 24 years old, there’s no doubt that White has plenty of time to catch his fellow former North Carolina Tar Heel.

A day after Zion Williamson had a 40-point outing before exiting the game late in the fourth quarter due to injury, the Bulls’ young point guard showed out on the biggest stage with his back against the wall. There were plenty of talks that it was Williamson’s coming out party on Tuesday night. How does the fifth-year guard’s performance stack up?

Carrying Chicago To The Playoffs

Coby White will be put in a similar position Friday night as Wednesday, with many teams opting to eliminate Chicago’s first option, DeMar DeRozan, and forcing the alternate scoring threats to carry the burden. Atlanta let DeRozan get to his spots in the first half but quickly shifted their focus to him in the second, only allowing four points from the 34-year-old veteran. White’s ability to flourish off the catch-and-shoot has made him a lethal pump fake and attack-the-rim player; alongside his much-improved ability to facilitate from the downhill driving position, he’s become one of the best drive-and-dish players leaguewide.

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Miami will be without their top defender, Jimmy Butler, but they have been a top-five defensive unit all season. They will present more challenges and new looks than the 27th-ranked Atlanta Hawks and Trae Young did on Wednesday night. Still, if White can replicate even half his performance in their first Play-In Tournament outing, Chicago has a good chance of advancing to the NBA Playoffs, where the top-seeded Boston Celtics await their arrival.

Does DeRozan leave his mark on Chicago’s franchise yet again with a historic Play-In Tournament performance, will Coby White go back-to-back incredible outings, or is there a new hero on Friday night? One game decides whether the Bulls clinch just their second playoff appearance in seven seasons or if they’ll be doing some major reconstruction this offseason, which could begin Saturday.

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