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Bulls’ Coby White enjoys challenge of increased defensive pressure

Things have turned around drastically after the Chicago Bulls’ 5-14 start. They’ve made a massive pushback into the Play-In Tournament race and are now 15-21 on the season. With Zach LaVine out, DeMar DeRozan has had to take on a larger role, but it’s been the surprise emergence of Coby White that’s led the way for Chicago.

Since LaVine went down with an injury on November 28, White has averaged 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 5.8 assists while shooting 45.5% from the field and 40.1% from behind the three-point line. But perhaps more impressive is the fact that he’s put up such great numbers while defenses have focused in on him more.

White recently spoke about how he enjoys the challenge of the increased pressure from opposing defenses. (H/t Stephen Belsic of Bulls News)

“I mean, who wouldn’t want this challenge? For me, this is what you dreamed of,” White said via Julia Poe of the Chicago Tribune. “Being a focal [target], teams have to do a game plan against you, being a focal point of the scouting report. So, for me, I get excited just for the challenge. I get excited for it.”

White talked about the pressure after the Bulls’ 116-100 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday night. In that one, he finished the night with 26 points, four rebounds, and eight assists on 9-of-19 shooting from the floor and 6-of-9 shooting from beyond the three-point arc.

At just 23 years old, White has a chance to blossom into a star for Chicago, but with LaVine returning from injury sooner rather than later, the Bulls will have to pick a direction.

Story originally appeared on Lonzo Wire