Pelicans & NBA Basketball

Isaiah Canaan showing his versatility as a Chicago Bull

Indiana Pacers' Aaron Brooks (00) goes up to shoot against Chicago Bulls' Nikola Mirotic, left, of Montenegro, and Isaiah Canaan center, during the second half of a preseason basketball game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Chicago.
Indiana Pacers' Aaron Brooks (00) goes up to shoot against Chicago Bulls' Nikola Mirotic, left, of Montenegro, and Isaiah Canaan center, during the second half of a preseason basketball game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016, in Chicago. AP

Former Biloxi High star Isaiah Canaan is trying to shake the tag of being just a 3-point specialist.

The new Chicago Bulls guard told the Chicago Tribune that he works hard to play both sides of the game.

In addition to his 8 points (a 3-pointer and 5 of 6 free throws), he was plus-40 in 15 minutes of play in the Bulls’ 121-105 preseason win against the Indiana Pacers on Oct. 8 in Chicago,

“We work on defense every day,” he told the Tribune. “We’ve got to get stops before we get out and do what we do well, which is score in transition and shoot the 3-ball. I just try to bring energy off the bench.”

Canaan, 25, played college ball at Murray State after a stellar career with the Biloxi Indians that included a 5A state championship in 2009. He also was the Sun Herald’s Player of the Year.

He averaged 11 points a game last season with the Philadelphia 76ers after being traded there by the Houston Rockets.

He signed with the Bulls in July for $2.2 million.

Coach Fred Hoiberg said Canaan has displayed an ability to play with and off the ball and praised his versatility at both ends.

“The thing I liked the most is he made simple plays,” Hoiberg told the Chicago Tribune. “(Defensively), he’s really into the ball. Initially, we wanted to get a guy who is a floor spacer, but he’s shown a lot more than that. Into the ball, he’s been as good as we’ve had.

“If he can continue that role and play with that type of intensity at the defensive end, he’s got a chance to play good, quality minutes.”

Read more about Canaan’s transition to the Bulls in the Chicago Tribune.

Kate Magandy: 228-896-2344, @kmagandy

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