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Even rookie Coby White isn’t enough to rescue the Bulls in Milwaukee

White played hero against New York on Tuesday, and seemed to be picking up right where he left off in the first half against the Bucks. Then reality hit him and his teammates.

The Bulls’ Coby White tries to drive past the Milwaukee Bucks’ Pat Connaughton during the second half Thursday night in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 124-115.
The Bulls’ Coby White tries to drive past the Milwaukee Bucks’ Pat Connaughton during the second half Thursday night in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 124-115.
Morry Gash/AP

MILWAUKEE — There will be a talk between coach and player.

After all, Bulls coach Jim Boylen takes a lot of pride in the relationships he builds with each member of the roster.

So Coby White can expect a sit-down soon.

Maybe the chat will be about his defense. Heck, maybe just the weather.

The topic that remains off limits in Boylen’s world, however? Shot selection and shot quantity from White, or any Bulls player for that matter.

“Well, I think first of all I don’t talk a whole bunch about it,’’ Boylen said about White’s shooting. “He’s a competitive person who works. He [practices shooting] all the time. He’s a confident kid, still a young, developing player. As I said, I don’t go after these guys when they don’t shoot well and I don’t go up to them when they do shoot well.

“Just continue to work and learn, that’s all. Continue to work and learn. … He’s a 19-year-old player, playing in the NBA and he’s doing his best to help us win.’’

That appeared to be the case again on Thursday, as White – fresh off a fourth quarter against New York in which he hit a franchise-record seven three-pointers – was at it again against Milwaukee.

At least in the first half.

White single-handedly carried the Bulls to a 66-65 halftime lead, scoring 19 points off the bench on 7-for-11 shooting, including a ridiculous 5-for-8 from three-point range. But there is always a reality to being a rookie, and that smacked White straight in the face in the second half, as the Bucks (8-3) pulled away to win 124-115.

As solid as White was in the first half was as shaky as he played in the third quarter, going 0-for-5 with two turnovers.

There would be no cape for the No. 7 overall pick to throw on, as he finished the game 9-for-23 from the field and a team-high 26 points.

“Yeah, for sure,’’ White said afterward, when asked about Boylen allowing him the green light. “He believes in me.’’

As for what the latest loss meant to the Bulls (4-8)? Just more disappointment for a team that is now 0-5 against teams above the .500 mark this season.

“We fought back,’’ White said. “We went through a little drought [in the third], but we fought back. It came down to a couple little plays where we didn’t get the rebound, but it’s a learning process and we took a step in the right direction this game.’’

Maybe, but of course there was plenty of blame to go around, especially in that third-quarter when the offense got cold and the Bulls defense became optional. Milwaukee outscored the visiting team 32-20 in that quarter, as point guard Eric Bledsoe went off for 12 points.

Not that the Bulls didn’t have chances in the final quarter.

The Bucks were stumbling to the finish line with 22 turnovers and shooting just 18.2 percent from three, but the Bulls still had no answer for the defending MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Specifically, keeping the Bucks big man off the free throw line.

Antetokounmpo finished with 38 points, and that included an evening where he shot 20 free throws (making 11).

The Bulls were down seven with seven with 1:15 left and Tomas Satoransky had a wide-open three to cut it to four, but it was off the rim, and in the hands of the home team. That was all the Bulls seemingly had in the tank.

“We’re getting closer,’’ White said. “We really are.’’