Bulls guard Coby White remains inconsistent as a reserve

The game against the Cavs was only White’s seventh in his new role this season, but the previous six have produced very mixed results. White claims the goal for the bench is to maintain momentum and leads, but that hasn’t been the case.

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The job description is pretty simple in the mind of Coby White.

“Maintain,’’ the Bulls guard said several times Wednesday, when discussing what the role of the bench should be.

Maintain momentum, maintain a lead.

Sounds good, but there hasn’t been a lot of maintaining going on lately, especially against playoff-caliber teams or even in the first six games in which White was relegated from starter to reserve.

White and the bench were great against a short-handed Toronto team and then Oklahoma City, but since then? How about a minus-10 in plus/minus for White in the collapse against the Spurs, a minus-1 against Denver and then Detroit, and finally in the beatdown Monday against Utah, a minus-23 for the second-year guard.

Yet, White feels like his new role is going well.

“It’s been good, it’s been good,’’ White said. “Getting adjusted, getting adjusted with the second unit, so it’s been good for the team too.

“I played every game off the bench last year besides one, so I’m already adjusted to it. I’m already accustomed to it so I’ve just got to come off the bench ready and focused to bring that spark. The second unit, we talk a lot about just maintaining that same level of energy at least or bringing it higher. So for us we try and sustain or level up when we come in.’’

“Try’’ being the key word, because the results have not been as consistent as hoped. But the same could be said about White when he was a starter. Just too many inconsistent moments.

Where it gets interesting for White is what becomes of him if the Bulls move Tomas Satoransky? The starting duties obviously would fall back to the North Carolina product with the hope that the demotion was a wake-up call.

White, however, wasn’t getting caught up in much trade-deadline speculation.

“We’re focused on winning games in the now,’’ White said. “I haven’t heard anything about trade talks around here, so nah, we don’t really discuss that.’’

Back in the mix

Garrett Temple missed the last six games with a left ankle sprain but was finally active for the game with Cleveland.

Coach Billy Donovan was planning to ease Temple back into the rotation, however, especially with a two-day break before the team plays its next game Saturday in San Antonio.

“I think he’s progressed pretty well,’’ Donovan said. “You know, with the limited practice that we had he got a workout in, some [Tuesday]. And then he was able to do quite a bit more [Wednesday]. So he feels actually pretty good. I’m a little bit concerned, not with the injury, but just the fact that he hasn’t really had anything in quite a period of time.’’

Reality check

While Thad Young is being mentioned in trade rumors, the Sun-Times has been reporting that the Bulls would really have to be wowed with an offer to move the vet. That could always change as the Thursday afternoon deadline draws near, and that would be a sad day for Zach LaVine.

“We all understand his value and how good he is and what a championship or high-rising playoff team could get out of him,’’ LaVine said of his good friend. “Obviously, I want him here. I think he helps me and helps the team tremendously. 

‘‘But obviously if something were to happen you just want the best situation for a guy like that.’’

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