What to expect in Bulls Sunday preseason opener v Bucks as Billy Donovan make plans clear

The preseason opener in Milwaukee on Sunday will provide a first look at the fluid process.
Don’t put too much stock in whoever coach Billy Donovan starts the Bulls against the Bucks in their preseason opening on Sunday in Milwaukee.

Not only has Donovan stated that he intends to tinker with his rotation throughout training camp, but he has also stated that whoever starts the regular-season opening against Oklahoma City on Oct. 25 is not set in stone.


However, during several live scrimmages during the first week of training camp in Nashville, Tenn., Donovan kept Coby White and Patrick Williams together but shifted them from last season’s reserve role to start with Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic.

The lineup is reasonable. It performed admirably in a limited sample size last season, allowing the Bulls to showcase their senior core alongside the youthful talent they need to develop.

White has stated that he is open to anything.


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“Like I said since I’ve been here, I’m just here to play basketball and do what I can to help my team win—whatever role that is,” White went on to say. “I’ve had a lot of different duties since I’ve been here. “I managed to make everything work.”

But it’s evident that White has worked hard again this offseason to improve his ballhandling and decision-making.


“I was known as a scorer when I first joined the league and before that.” That was my personality.

“In high school, I was the leading scorer in North Carolina basketball history,” White remarked. “So it’s been great for me to see how I’ve changed my game to be more of a point guard, more of a lead guard, more of a vocal guy.”

“I want to continue to fine tune those things and get better—setting my teammates up, getting into the paint, kicking out, breaking down the defense and being that leader.”


The Bulls made re-signing White a priority, orally agreeing to his new contract on the first night of free agency. White is cited as a player development success story by management and Donovan.

Donovan has also been debating whether to use a nine- or ten-man rotation throughout the regular season. He has preferred the former, which allows him to “stagger” a starter, generally DeRozan, and bring him back to play with the second unit.

However, the second unit with Ayo Dosunmu, Jevon Carter, Alex Caruso, Torrey Craig, and Andre Drummond has been a defensive nightmare at times.


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“If we have me and Ayo and Drum on that second unit and we add those two pieces (Carter and Craig), it’s going to be hard to get a good shot off against that second unit if we’re locked in,” Caruso said in a statement. “Once we do that, we’ll have multiple ballhandlers and will be able to break out and run a little bit.”

“I’m ecstatic. (Carter and Craig) fit the approach that me, Ayo, and Drum have been playing with over the last few years.”

Donovan’s position on this decision will be revealed in due course. Again, this will be a work in progress throughout training camp and possibly even during the regular season.


“DeMar has done an excellent job with the second unit. “However, if you start staggering starters into the second unit, you’re really setting yourself up to play nine,” Donovan explained. “It’s difficult to stagger [with 10 players]. We must consider it because it has been beneficial to us.

“However, do we have a true second unit?” Is it truly advantageous to us? “I’m not sure yet.”

The first dress rehearsal is on Sunday.

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