2016-17 Isaiah Canaan Season Averages: 4.6 PPG, 1.3 RB, .9 AST
Isaiah Canaan came to the Bulls after spending the 2015-16 season with the Philadelphia 76ers and immediately became a favorite personality amongst the team, supporting his teammates throughout the ups and downs of the season and always being a positive force on the bench. The 6 foot combo guard from Murray State had an up and down season on the court, playing in the team’s first 22 games with a steady hand off the bench.
Canaan then saw his playing time go away for much of the season as the team experimented with other guards in that spot, but to his credit, ‘Sip’ stayed ready. He got the call when the shorthanded Bulls were struggling from the point guard position in the playoffs, coming in to Game 4 and contributing immediately. Sip showed perseverance through an up and down season, and showed skill, defense and heady play when he did get into the game. Let’s take a look at some of his best performances this season:
at Brooklyn Nets, October 31 - The Bulls started the season off strong, winning their first three games, including a 30 point blowout in Brooklyn on Halloween. Canaan played a big role off the bench in that win, pouring in 15 points on just 7 shots and dropping a season-high 6 assists to help the Bulls get off on the right foot.
Canaan’s Line: 15 points (5-7 FG), 3-4 3PT, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
at LA Lakers, November 20 - The Bulls quick start to the season continued with a strong November road trip, including a big win at the Lakers on the second night of a Los Angeles back-to-back. The Bulls, who would wind up finishing the road trip with a strong 4-2 record, beat the Lakers in a tightly contested game thanks in large part to a huge night from Jimmy Butler, but Canaan played a big role int he Bulls locking this one down as well. Sip dropped a season-high 17 points in 30 minutes off the bench, as the Bulls posted what was then their season-high score in a fast-paced 118-110 win over LA.
Canaan’s Line: 17 points (6-10 FG), 3-6 3PT, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
vs Boston Celtics (Game 4, April 23) - After spending much of the last half of the season supporting the team from the bench, Canaan proved he was staying ready when he got his number called in a big Game 4 matchup agains the Boston Celtics. After the Bulls took a 2-0 lead by beating the 1st-seeded Celtics on the road twice to open the series, the team was hurt by the news that starting point guard Rajon Rondo had suffered a thumb injury and was out indefinitely. After the combination of young point guards Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams proved to be ineffective, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg called on Canaan to come in and guard Celtics star Isaiah Thomas. Canaan immediately proved to be effective and ready, coming up with solid defense and a few big plays on offense to get the crowd back into it and bring the Bulls back into the game, even taking a lead at one point in the third. Though the Bulls would go on to lose the game and the series, Canaan provided a major spark off the bench and proved that it pays to stay ready.
Canaan’s line: 13 points (4-10 FG), 3-7 3PT, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals