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Coby White is stuck in a shooting slump — and the Chicago Bulls guard says the only way out is to keep shooting

No matter how many times his shots miss their target, Coby White says his plan is simple: Keep shooting.

White’s 0-for-9 performance in Saturday’s loss to the Miami Heat hung heavy on the Chicago Bulls guard, whose shot has been off since mid-March. He went 2-for-24 from 3-point range in the last five games and scored in double digits only twice in the last eight games, shooting 29% from the field and 20% from 3-point range during that stretch.

But even in a cold streak, White says the only way out is to keep shooting until the ball begins to fall again.

“Only I can dig myself out of this,” he said. “I haven’t been shooting the ball well, but for me it’s just continuing to shoot. It doesn’t matter if I go 0-for-10, if I go 0-for-11. The bad thing would be if I stopped taking open shots. My teammates tell me to keep shooting.”

White is a streaky shooter — even within a game. In a February game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, he didn’t make a single 3-pointer in the first half, then went 6-for-7 in the second half.

Despite this proclivity, White found some consistency in February. He shot above 54% from 3-point range for four straight games and dipped below 30% only once all month.

That hot shooting coincided with the Bulls’ longest winning streak of the season. But now as they tumble down the Eastern Conference standings, White can’t find his spark behind the arc.

Saturday’s game was a frustrating example of doing everything right — except for the finish. White found wide-open looks by tucking himself behind screens and scanning for outlet passes at the top of the arc, but every shot clanked off the rim.

“Honestly, tonight was probably some of the more clean looks I got all year,” White said. “I love those shots for me. I know my team loves those shots for me. So I’m going to keep shooting.”

It has been a season of disruptions for White, who coach Billy Donovan believes has been affected the most by the Bulls’ injury turmoil. White started out coming off the bench, then became the starting point guard, then continued to move back and forth from the starting lineup to the bench almost on a weekly basis.

He’s back with the bench unit at shooting guard after Alex Caruso replaced Ayo Dosunmu as the starting point guard. And that could change again as Zach LaVine (knee) and Caruso (back) continue to nurse nagging injuries that could require rotational rests in the final week of the regular season.

Amid these constant changes, White said it has been a challenge to find his shooting rhythm.

“Obviously my role changed,” he said. “For me, it’s just to adapt. I’ve been doing it all year. I’ve been in the lineup, starting, coming off the bench, playing 15 to 20 minutes, playing 30 minutes. So I’m used to it.”

A slip in shooting for White often precedes desperation on both ends of the floor — a common problem for the entire Bulls roster. In Saturday’s loss, White struggled to keep up defensively every time he switched onto Jimmy Butler, who led the Heat with 22 points.

To outlast bad shooting nights, Donovan said the Bulls need to keep frustration from seeping into their defense.

“That’s an area of growth that we’ve got to make,” Donovan said. “We had some pop to us early in the game because the ball was going in the basket, but as some of those shots started to dry up, you’ve got to be able to dig in. … If (Coby’s) not making shots, there’s other things he can do.”


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