Bulls beat Hawks in a laugher as the education of Coby White continues
The Bulls rookie took notes on Trae Young’s game in the 136-102 win, and while he admittedly has a much different skill set, White wants to be considered that same type of threat at point guard.
The hope was Tomas Satoransky would be enough this season.
On Wednesday, little was needed from the starting point guard as the Hawks came into town, appeared to be going through the motions, collected some checks and headed for the airport.
In one of their better performances of the season, the Bulls took advantage of the lifeless Hawks, manhandling them 136-102 at the United Center.
But it’s obvious that the Bulls need a scoring point guard if they want to push this rebuild in the right direction.
Coby White’s got next.
For the third straight game, White got heavy minutes off the bench, playing exclusively as the lead guard and finishing with 19 points.
“Most people say I’m a scoring guard, that I like to score, but I can also get my teammates involved,’’ said White, who only had four assists. “It’s going to take some adjustment. The last couple of games, I got some assists, but the points weren’t there. I’m just starting to play point guard at this level, so once I get the rhythm of it, get a handle on it, get some reps, I feel like I’ll get better and better.’’
The Bulls need him to.
Just take a look at the NBA landscape. Three of the top four scorers are point guards, and four of the top seven. White and Co. got to witness one of them — Trae Young — up close.
It wasn’t one of Young’s better nights.
The dynamic playmaker had 13 assists but only 15 points on 4-for-14 shooting, including 1-for-6 from three-point range. Not a real shocker. Ever since Young did a number on the Bulls last March, scoring 49 in Atlanta, it hasn’t been forgiven or forgotten.
In the first meeting this season, they handcuffed Young for a 3-for-12 shooting night, and he finished with only nine points.
This game was just the sequel, as Kris Dunn played defensive stopper and Zach LaVine played efficient scorer with 35 points.
That doesn’t mean White wasn’t trying to learn whatever he could by watching Young.
“I mean, he’s such a hell of a playmaker, I feel like watching him helps either way,’’ White said. “Yeah, our games are different, but his playmaking is undeniable, and as a point guard, you need playmaking either way.
“One day hopefully I’ll get there, but right now [Young] draws so much attention because of his offense, it’s drop-off [pass] here, drop-off there. It’s him making reads he’s been making his whole life.’’
While coach Jim Boylen reiterated that he’s happy with the way the roster was built — starting point guard and all — he did acknowledge that White turning into a scoring point guard would be huge for the franchise.
“We haven’t talked about it in those terms with the top scorers in the league, but we are progressing more where Coby handles the ball more in situations, leads that action in those situations,’’ Boylen said. “As far as the point guard being our leading scorer, we don’t talk about that. This is as much a question about development as anything.’’
Besides, Boylen was concerned with more immediate issues, such as his team finally taking a businesslike approach in what was considered a very winnable game.
“I just told [vice president of basketball operations] John [Paxson] that in my office,’’ Boylen said. “We didn’t let them get back into the game, we took care of business, and I’m happy for my guys.’’