Tar Heels in NBA: White explains his improved overall play after a turnover-free 18-point game

By R.L. Bynum

Returning to the starting lineup seems to have been the change that turned around Coby White’s second season in the NBA.

It’s also worked out decently for the Chicago Bulls even though they have been playing without leading scorer Zach LaVine, who has been out under the league’s health and safety protocols for the past five games.

White had 18 points, four 3-pointers, three rebounds and three assists in 28 turnover-free minutes as the Bulls earned a 108–91 home victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Thursday night.

“I’m just trying my best to take care of the ball, man,” White said. “You know, less turnovers, more possessions, more opportunity to score and less opportunities for the other team to run out and get a transition.”

The Bulls are 3–2 without LaVine but with White as a starter after White’s 13th game this season with at least four 3-pointers. He’s looked more comfortable on the court than when he was coming off the bench.

“I think it’s just starting to slow down,” White said. “Obviously, I just feel like, in today’s day and age, everybody just wants it to happen now. And I feel like certain things are a process. Everybody doesn’t figure it out on the fly. So, for me, I’m still learning and I’m still growing. I’ve had ups and downs but I’m gonna continue to keep learning and growing … because I know where I want to be. And in order for me to do that, I have to continue to grow and develop and continue to listen.”

When he’s listening, a lot of times it’s advice from Bulls assistant coach Maurice Cheeks.

“I spend a lot of time talking to Mo, because he was obviously a Hall of Fame point guard and, you know, just learning from him as much as I can. He’s been a tremendous help for me, personally, especially at the point guard position just teaching me and showing me the ropes and ways that I can impact the game other than just scoring,” White said.

Turnovers are always a big topic.

“The main thing he says is never have the same turnover twice,” White said. “He said you’re gonna make mistakes, nobody’s perfect. Just try not to add the same turnover twice through the course of the game and, at halftime, re-evaluate it. So, you had this, you had that, just don’t do it again. For me, it’s all I’ve been focusing on and he’s helped me a lot.”

Chicago took advantage of Charlotte’s eight first-half turnovers to get out on the break, like with White’s steal and dunk.

Chicago rebounded from a 121–105 loss at Cleveland the night before at a time when the Bulls need wins to make the play-in tournament.

“We didn’t compete like a team that has must-win games,” White said. “So, as a team, you know, we knew that that wasn’t us and we can’t start the game like that, especially now.”

Read Steve Kirschner’s memories of being the primary sports information contact for Hall of Fame coaches Dean Smith and Roy Williams. There are some terrific stories in this media notebook.

Cole Anthony collected 14 points, two rebounds and three assists in Orlando’s 135–100 home loss to New Orleans. Since Anthony returned to the starting lineup, the Magic has lost four consecutive games.

Cameron Johnson got his first start for Phoenix since the last of nine consecutive starts on Feb. 3. He contributed eight points and six rebounds in 34 minutes, missing all six 3-point attempts in the Suns’ 99–86 loss at Boston.

Philadelphia’s 124–117 loss at Milwaukee was an odd one for Danny Green. He went scoreless in 15 minutes and took only one shot, the first time that’s happened since Feb. 27, 2020, for the Los Angeles Lakers against the Golden State Warriors.

In the first Bucks game since Justin Jackson signed with the team, he didn’t play.

How Tar Heels did Thursday, what’s next

Cole Anthony, Orlando Magic guard
135–100 loss
vs. New Orleans — Started; 25 minutes, 14 points, 6–13 FG, 2–4 3FG, 0–2 FT, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, -33, 10.2 game score
Season statistics — 34 games, 11.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 38.7FG%, 30.3%3P, 82.5FT
Up next — Sunday vs. Indiana,  8 p.m.; Monday vs. Los Angeles Lakers, 7 p.m.
Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings guard
No game
Season statistics
— 56 games, 15.9 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 49.4FG%, 37.9%3P, 82.7FT%
Up next — Sunday at Golden State, 10 p.m., NBATV; Monday vs. Dallas, 10 p.m., NBATV
Tony Bradley, Oklahoma City Thunder center/forward
No game
Season statistics
— 34 games, 7.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.9 of an assist, 66.5 FG%, 0–2 3FG, 70.7FT%
Up next —
Friday vs. Washington, 8 p.m.; Monday at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Reggie Bullock, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics —
53 games, 10.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 43.6FG%, 40.6%3P, 89.2FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. Toronto, 1 p.m., ESPN; Monday vs. Phoenix, 7:30 p.m., NBATV
Ed Davis, Minnesota Timberwolves center/forward
No game
Season statistics
— 22 games, 2.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.0 assist, 43.2FG%, 0–0 3FG, 83.3FT%
Up next — Saturday at Utah, 9 p.m.; Monday vs. Utah, 8 p.m.
Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons guard
106–91 loss at San Antonio — Did not play to get rest on second of back-to-back days with games
Season statistics —
42 games, 9.8 points, 1.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 44.7FG%, 42.4 3P%, 80.0FT%
Up next — Saturday at Indiana, 7 p.m.; Monday vs. Atlanta, 7 p.m.
Danny Green, Philadelphia 76ers forward
124–117 loss
at Milwaukee — Started; 15 minutes, 0 points, 0–1 FG, 0–1 3FG, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 steal, 1 block, -18, 2.7 game score
Season statistics — 58 games, 9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 42.2FG%, 41.7%3P, 75.8FT%
Up next —
Saturday at Milwaukee, 3:30 p.m., ESPN; Monday vs. Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.
Justin Jackson, Milwaukee Bucks forward
124–117 win vs. Philadelphia —
Didn’t play
Season statistics —
33 games, 7.2 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 40.6FG%, 30.6%3P, 85.7FT%
Up next — Saturday vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., ESPN; Sunday at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m., NBATV
Cameron Johnson, Phoenix Suns wing
99–86 loss
at Boston — Started; 34 minutes, 8 points, 3–11 FG, 0–6 3FG, 2–2 FT, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 block, 1 turnover, -5, 4.3 game score
Season statistics — 53 games, 9.9 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 44.3FG%, 37.7%3P, 87.8FT%
Up next — Sunday at Brooklyn, 3:30 p.m., ESPN; Monday at New York, 7:30 p.m., NBATV
Nassir Little, Portland Blazers forward/guard
No game
Season statistics — 39 games, 5.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.5 of an assist, 46.9%FG, 37.0%3P, 82.5FT%
Up next — Friday vs. Memphis, 10 p.m.; Sunday vs. Memphis, 4 p.m.
Theo Pinson, New York Knicks guard/forward
No game
Season statistics —
14 games, 2 points, 1–9 FG, 0–8 3FG, 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Up next — Saturday vs. Toronto, 1 p.m., ESPN; Monday vs. Phoenix, 7:30 p.m., NBATV
Coby White, Chicago Bulls point guard
108–91 win vs. Charlotte — Started; 28 minutes, 18 points, 7–10 FG, 4–6 3FG, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 0 turnovers, +25, 17.8 game score
Season statistics — 56 games, 14.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 41.2FG%, 34.7%3P, 91.3 FT%
Up next — Saturday at Miami, 8 p.m.; Monday at Miami, 8 p.m.

What is a game score? Here is an exclamation.

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