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Bulls coach Jim Boylen says Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn have to do more at both ends of the floor

Jim Boylen, Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have gone 5-9 since Jim Boylen took over as head coach of the team, now with a 10-28 record approaching the halfway mark of the season. Having traded one of their oldest veterans in 29-year-old Justin Holiday, Boylen noted that young players Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn must do more now to compensate for the loss:

“Lauri, Zach and Kris have to do more,” said Boylen, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “They have to do more at the defensive and offensive end now. And they have to make people better. Justin was a big-time defender, big-time team guy and was reliable. Guys have to pick up the slack. And I’m banking that they will.”

The Bulls are playing at a snail’s pace under Boylen, who has resorted to a caveman-like offense by running 14.5 post-ups per 100 possessions, according to Second Spectrum, a significant increase from the nine per 100 they averaged under Fred Hoiberg, as noted by ESPN’s Zach Lowe. 

Markkanen and company now have a tougher time scoring the ball efficiently, given that their main advantage, youth, is now counting against them by playing a game designed for veteran players to limit turnovers and force other teams to play against a set defense.

The best way to make players play against a set defense is to make them take it out of the basket, and the Bulls simply haven’t scored enough to make Boylen’s archaic plan work the way he envisioned.

Losing Holiday, though understandable in a rebuilding year, only handicaps their ability to defend and/or use their athletic ability to turn defense into offense.