Bulls Notes: Boylen, Markkanen, Payne

Critics have called on coach Jim Boylen to make the 3-point shot a greater part of his offense, but the Bulls don’t have the personnel to make that strategy work, writes Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times.

“What we haven’t done is finished very well at those plays at the rim,” Boylen said in response to a question this week. “That’s where we have to grow. Then it’s finishing at the rim, maybe the defense takes it away, and now you spray out [to the 3-point line]. Who are we spraying out to? Well, we’re going to keep working at that.”

Lauri Markkanen has been the team’s most efficient 3-point shooter, but he doesn’t rank in the league’s top 20. The Bulls are 19th in the NBA in 3-point shooting percentage at 34.7%, but are 26th in the number of shots taken and tied for last in makes.

“Sometimes you don’t have the personnel to become a team that’s in the top 10 in 3-point attempts, and makes, and field-goal percentage,” Zach LaVine said. “I think we can take more, but we’d have to be hunting them, and certain guys have to hunt them.”

There’s more news out of Chicago:

  • The Bulls shouldn’t be so quick to commit to Boylen beyond this season, argues Jon Greenburg of The Athletic. He notes that the organization didn’t really conduct a coaching search before hiring Fred Hoiberg in 2015 and contends that Boylen is too similar to what management decided it didn’t want when it fired Tom Thibodeau. Greenburg mentions current Grizzlies assistant Jerry Stackhouse as a bold hiring the team could make.
  • Markkanen is still finding his way after missing the first part of the season with an elbow injury, relays Sam Smith of NBA.com. The second-year forward is averaging 17.0 PPG since returning to action, but hasn’t become the focus of the offense that many had hoped, taking just 14.6 shots per night.“I’d rather have plays where I get good shots rather than trying to force something up,” he explained. “I think it all starts from being aggressive and getting to my spots, try to make the right basketball plays.”
  • Taking a chance on Cameron Payne wasn’t a bad gamble, Smith writes in a question-and-answer column. The Bulls waived Payne last week after giving up Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a second-round pick to acquire him in 2017. But Smith says the front office never intended to re-sign Gibson or McDermott, so it didn’t hurt to take a chance on a former lottery pick.
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8 thoughts on “Bulls Notes: Boylen, Markkanen, Payne

  1. ChiSoxCity

    How about, I dunno, hiring someone with head coaching experience in the NBA for the Bulls. Get someone who know’s what they’re doing already.

    • Bryzzo2016

      This! Please!! A major market team that is among the most profitable in the league and the last coach they hired with actually head coaching experience? Scott F’n Skiles?!? I wish JR would sell the damn team. His blind devotion to Gar/Pax has kept this team stuck in the mud for years. Then again, at least we aren’t the Knicks.

    • Djones246890

      I agree. But Reinsdorf and Gar/Pax are a joke. So, I don’t have too much hope. He really needs to sell this team, and fans need to boycott until he does.

  2. x%sure

    Thibs got grief for collecting ex-Bulls, but he was right about Gibson. (And Rose. And Deng & Brooks were painless, though Butler not)

    Thibs/MIN bumped Gibson’s salary from $10 to $14MM, gave him starter’s minutes, got plus numbers from him, and they finally made the playoffs.
    For 2019, still solid, and another FA coming up.

  3. bravesfan88

    Gar Forman and John Paxson HAVE TO GO!! Rarely, rarely have I ever seen two executives keep their jobs for so long, yet be so terrible at said job.

    They’ve done absolutely nothing to inspire any confidence in them, and yet they just continue to make poor decisions and nothing but head-scratching moves. They got fortunate stumbling upon Markkanen, Portis, Carter Jr., and with the Butler trade, yet they still can’t even field a half-way decent team.

    They’ve done absolutely NOTHING to inspire any confidence in this team, nor have they shown any resemblance of competency. The only good decisions they have made are ones that have fallen in their lap..

    They should sign Stackhouse to bribg some passion, basketball IQ, and bring some enthusiasm to this young team. This team desperately needs a leader, and a voice they can trust and follow. Stackhouse is clearly the man for the job, but I have no doubt ownership and GarPax will keep Boylen.

    In order to truly turn things around, like I said, they need a new leader, and that’s Stackhouse. Then, they should draft Barrett Jr., sign Reddick, and they’ll need to add about two other veterans. One being a versatile wing, and they should also add a veteran versatile big. With Reddick, Barrett, a 3&D wing, and backup C this team will be significantly more well-rounded and it’ll give the Bulls the depth they so desperately need..

    Their needs are obvious, but I’m sure to the inept F.O. they probably just need to practice harder..

  4. derricknoah

    What’s done, is Dunn! Jerry Stackhouse as the coach would actually be very interesting for the Bulls future. Nothing to lose

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