Zach LaVine

Bulls' Coby White talks chemistry, connection with Zach LaVine

Guard confident he can continue his aggressive ascension with return of two-time All-Star teammate

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During a timeout in the second half of Zach LaVine's first game in over a month last Friday, Coby White hit his limit watching what he perceived as passive play from his uber-talented teammate.

"I went to him and said, 'Bro, just go hoop. Do your thing. Don’t try to change who you are. Just keep being you,'" White related following Wednesday's morning shootaround at the Advocate Center.

This is the type of relationship the two longest-tenured Bulls have.

"I love playing with him," White said. "He always comes to me and tells me to keep being aggressive. He gives me confidence. We’ve been playing together a long time now. He knows how I feel I on the court. I know how he feels on the court. We have that connection where if we feel like we’re off, we can come to each other and tell each other that."

This is why White downplays any concerns or storylines centered on his ability to stay aggressive in this most ascendant of seasons for him as LaVine returns to the lineup. The Bulls are 2-0 since LaVine and Nikola Vucevic returned from injuries, although they faced a shorthanded and victory-challenged Charlotte Hornets team both times.

White averaged 24.5 points, 8 rebounds and 5.5 assists in the two victories.

"Nothing’s really changed. Obviously, we’re returning Zach and Vooch. But including those guys, everybody is telling me to keep doing what I’m doing, be myself and keep playing the way I’m playing," White said. "They told me to stay aggressive, make the right play and be who I am and who I have been.

"It’s not going to happen like that every night. We have so many talented players on this team. I just want to stay aggressive and in attack mode."

That can mean scoring or playmaking. In Monday's road victory in Charlotte, the Bulls placed White in more pick-and-roll situations and LaVine in more catch-and-shoot situations.

"In some games, it’s going to be reversed. I’m going to be the one ready to catch and shoot and he’s going to have the ball in his hands," White said. "The main thing about us is we don’t have the egos to where it’s like, ‘I want the ball.’ We want to win. Whoever has it going, it is what it is. He’s not the type of guy or selfish enough to come to me and say, ‘Yo, give me the ball.’ That’s not who he is. He’s a winner. He is going to do what’s best for the team. And for me, it’s the same way."

Coach Billy Donovan said both before LaVine's return on Friday and following Sunday's practice that he doesn't want White to change his approach at all now that LaVine is back. LaVine said the same thing late Friday.

"We both can play on and off the ball," White said. "I think with our ability to catch and shoot and play in transition correlates to each other and why we can play off each other."

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