Frustration among Bulls players is being caused not only by eight straight losses, but by coach Jim Boylen’s unusual timeout strategy, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. Boylen called a timeout last night with 30 seconds to play and his team trailing by 10 points. Television cameras seemed to capture Zach LaVine expressing bewilderment over the decision.
“He hasn’t said a word to me about it agitating him,” Boylen said of LaVine. “I don’t know if you’re reading his mind on that or if you’re just making that assumption that that’s what he’s upset about. He hasn’t said a word to me about it. He’s very respectful about me coaching the team and me trying to help the team. So you’ll have to ask him.”
Asked about Boylen’s strategy, LaVine responded, “That’s what he do, man. That’s what he do. I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not the coach. He’s told me he likes working on things that we do in practice and things like that. He’s the head coach. He can call timeout if he wants to.”
Mayberry documents four other instances this month where Boylen has used timeouts in the closing seconds with his team hopelessly behind. He notes that players have been reluctant to buy into Boylen’s coaching methods, and his 36-79 record since taking over hasn’t helped. However, he retains the support of management and was given a two-year extension after last season.
There’s more from Chicago:
- Ryan Arcidiacono has made his first two starts of the season in the two games since the All-Star break, and he’s likely to continue in that role as long as Chandler Hutchison remains injured, Boylen tells K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. “(Arcidiacono starting) keeps Coby (White) in that backup role, where he’s finding his voice and he’s learning to play that (lead guard) position,” Boylen said. “And I think that’s important too. Coby has more of a voice with that second group, and we’re asking him to run that group as efficiently as he can and learn.”
- Hutchison got a cortisone shot in his injured right shoulder for the second time this season and expressed hope that he will be able to return, although he didn’t offer a target date, Johnson relays in a separate story. Hutchison also indicated offseason surgery may be necessary. “It’s something as a last resort kind of deal. With what’s going on with my shoulder, it could be used to clean it out. Or it could be something that heals on its own,” he said. “Right now, I’m hoping that with rest it’s something I can get to a point where it heals on its own. And then those talks will kind of advance if it gets to that point.”
- Daniel Gafford tells Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times that he hopes to use the final six weeks of the season to prove he’s worthy of a larger role in the rotation.