The ‘‘Coby White Game’’ will have some traction in Bulls folklore.
It doesn’t stack up to Michael Jordan’s ‘‘Flu Game’’ or Derrick Rose’s ‘‘Dunk on Dragic,’’ but it’s something the Bulls can embrace today.
It’s something in what has been a last few seasons of nothing.
White, the seventh overall pick in the draft in June, rewrote the Bulls’ record book by making seven three-pointers in the fourth quarter Tuesday in a victory against a hapless Knicks team. Along the way, the 19-year-old also became the youngest player in NBA history to make seven three-pointers in a game.
‘‘I’ve never seen somebody hit seven threes in a quarter,’’ fellow guard Zach LaVine said. ‘‘I’ve been telling you guys from the get-go: Coby is special.’’
But even with their victory against the Knicks, the Bulls are 4-7 after 11 games of a schedule that was tailor-made for a quick start. More concerning, the combined records of the four teams they have beaten was 13-30 entering play Wednesday. The Bulls are 0-4 against teams with winning records and have been outscored by a combined 66 points in those games.
Still, White’s performance was welcomed.
‘‘I don’t look at it like maybe he had a good moment here and then two weeks later he had a good moment here,’’ coach Jim Boylen said. ‘‘I see good moments in every game. I see growth in every game, whether it’s defensively or decision-making.
‘‘That’s how I evaluate this team. He’s a 19-year-old player, playing in the NBA, and he’s doing his best to help us win.’’
So what does the future hold for White? Unless the Bulls have plans to trade LaVine after this season, he likely will be stuck in a backup combo-guard role.
LaVine is signed through 2021-22 at a guaranteed $19.5 million a season. Considering he’s still only 24 and can score 20 points falling out of bed, it’s not a rough contract to move on from. And if this season is a failure, the Bulls will have to explore it.
As far as point guard, White has shown little ability to run a team from that spot. He’s a scorer first and is being tutored on point-guard play along the way.
The best point guards in the league can score, but they also can put teammates in the right spot on the floor. James Harden, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic and Trae Young were five of the top six scorers in the league entering play Wednesday, but all also were ranked among the top 15 in assists.
The Bulls are fine with White’s shoot-first mentality for now, and they can point to Harden — a combo guard who came off the bench during his first three seasons in the league with the Thunder — as a model for him to follow.
Like White, passing wasn’t exactly Harden’s passion as a rookie. He averaged 1.8 assists in his first season, 2.1 in his second and 3.7 in his third.
This isn’t to say White is even in the same area code as Harden, but that doesn’t mean he can’t spend the next couple of seasons learning his craft as a point guard while still providing the Bulls with some much-needed scoring punch off the bench.
NOTE: Coach Jim Boylen ruled forward Otto Porter Jr. (left foot) out for Thursday against the Bucks. Guard Zach LaVine (ankle) is probable.