The Chicago Bulls point guard battle has reached its end. As the Bulls wrapped up their last practice of training camp, head coach Jim Boylen spoke to reporters and named his starter.
Standing at 6-foot-7, Satoransky provides great versatility alongside Zach LaVine in the backcourt. With Sato playing next to LaVine, he’ll be able to hide some of those defensive deficiencies that Zach is trying to improve on. Along with his versatility and defensive ability, his prowess as a floor general stands clearly above White and Dunn, making this decision easy for Boylen to make. The Bulls offense flowed more fluidly during Tomas Satoransky’s two starts. In both of his starts, the Bulls held a 20-point lead at one point (Pelicans, Raptors). It appears that his play makes the team a more cohesive unit and allows the Bulls to play to their full potential.
Satoransky, 27, averaged 8.3 points, five rebounds, and five assists along with shooting 58% from the field and 80% from beyond the arc in three games. The Czech Republic-native showed his talents as an experienced playmaker with the capability to play in Boylen’s new multi-ball handler system. His usage rating of 12.4% a season ago plays well into Chicago’s new offensive scheme.
Clearly, if Chicago wanted to optimize their talent on the offensive end, Satoransky was — without question — their best option.
Kris Dunn has proven that he belongs on this roster; his ability to defend at a high level (2.8 steals per game) and handle the ball will earn him some key rotational minutes. However, Dunn’s lack of an outside shot and ineffectiveness as a point guard may have cost him the starting job. The fifth overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft averaged four turnovers per game and shot 20% from three throughout the preseason.
On the other end, Coby White displayed his scoring ability off the bench. The 19-year-old has surpassed expectations early on and he’ll be given a larger role. The North Carolina product averaged 16.8 points (good for second among rookies), 3.8 rebounds, and 2.5 three made per game. However, the fact of the matter is that White is far too inexperienced to command a team that is gunning for the playoffs.
As for now, the combo guard is more effective at the two spot while occasionally handling the ball in spurts. His erratic decision-making may have compromised his campaign to be a starter. Nonetheless, White is the future guard of the Bulls and will largely contribute to Chicago’s success off the bench this season.
Sato was clearly the most complete player in the preseason, and the Bulls will use his mixed bag of skills to further their aspirations into the postseason.
After one final preseason tune-up at home against the Hawks tomorrow, Jim Boylen and the Bulls will travel to Charlotte to tip off the regular season against the Hornets on October 23rd.
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