The Chicago Bulls were dealt an unceremonious end to their season against the Miami Heat in their Play-In Tournament clash for the final East playoff spot. A handful of Chi-town faithful are pinning it on benching Coby White.
Bulls head coach Billy Donovan subbed out White with 2:17 left in the game. Miami led Chicago 91-90 and held them to just one point the rest of the way for the 102-91 win.
Coby White hit three triples earlier in the fourth quarter and provided the offensive spark they needed off the bench. Donovan opted for the veteran presence of Patrick Beverley, which a handful of fans didn’t agree with.
It was a subtle shift, but in a game as close as this one many Bulls fans felt it proved to be the difference.
How do you pull Coby
— Jason Patt (@Bulls_Jay) April 15, 2023
I don’t agree with Patrick Beverly closing the game he provides no offense and he’s not guarding anyone with the ball. Coby White was hitting shots and of course we resort to iso ball and lose the game
— 𝓑𝓾𝓵𝓵𝓼 𝓟𝓪𝓲𝓷 (@bulls_pain) April 15, 2023
Shoutout Billy Donovan taking out Coby White with 2 minutes left when he was the only one making shots
— Stephen A. Smith Burner’s Burner Parody (@TheSASBurner) April 15, 2023
Not closing with Coby White when he was probably the best Bull in the 2nd half is pretty vexing
— Mark Schindler (@MG_Schindler) April 15, 2023
Wow. What an offensive collapse by the Bulls.
Don’t understand why Billy took out Coby when he was COOKING the entire game.
— ChicagoBullsCentral (@BullsCentraI) April 15, 2023
It didn’t help that Patrick Beverley was a non-factor on offense throughout the entire game. The Bulls guard failed to score in his 27 minutes on the floor, going 0-for-4 and missing all three of his attempts from deep. His presence allows defenders the leeway to help on DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine more freely compared to if Coby White was in his place.
Chicago’s loss doesn’t rest on just one decision. They were also out-rebounded throughout the game, giving up a 51-37 advantage to Miami. Their crunch time execution was also poor as their offense couldn’t muster clean looks against a locked-in Heat defense.
The Bulls will have another decision to make with Coby White this offseason as their 2019 lottery pick hits restricted free agency.
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