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Michael Reinsdorf happy with how Jim Boylen has progressed as Bulls’ coach

Bulls, Michael Reinsdorf, Jim Boylen

The Chicago Bulls are 13-27 with a 6.2 net rating since firing Fred Hoiberg on December 3rd, both bottom-five marks in the league. Don’t tell upper management Jim Boylen’s brief tenure as the team’s head coach, though, hasn’t sparked room for optimism going forward.

In a sprawling interview with K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Bulls chief operating officer Michael Reinsdorf, the son of owner Jerry Reisndorf, expressed confidence in what he’s seen from Boylen on the sidelines thus far.

“I’m very happy with the job that Jim has done,” he said. “Everything he has said he was going to do, he has done. He was very transparent about the offense. He said we’re going to walk before we run. In the beginning, he worked on a lot of details, making sure we were doing the basics. Once he felt those were taken care of, he sped it up and allowed for more up-tempo offense.”

Chicago’s offensive rating with Boylen at the helm is 106.3, tied for the league’s fourth-worst mark and barely than its standing under Hoiberg. The Bulls have flashed a more cohesive, complete offense of late, though, especially since acquiring Otto Porter at the trade deadline. But it’s the improved play of franchise cornerstones Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine that has Reinsdorf feeling optimistic, developments he credits partially to Boylen.

“Lauri was almost player of the month for February. Jim put the ball in Lauri’s hands more. He has become kind of a point forward and it has changed his game,” Reinsdorf said. “He’s no longer just shooting 3-pointers. He’s taking the ball to the basket more. He’s moving around. He’s playing the right way. Give the most credit to Lauri. But I also give credit to Coach Boylen for making the right decision to give Lauri that freedom.

“Jim has worked incredibly hard with Zach. He has become a more efficient player. He’s getting points. But he’s also getting assists, making better decisions, taking the ball to the basket. His game over the last month has really grown. It’s exciting to watch.”

Chicago, 5-2 in the last seven games, are back in action on Tuesday against the Indiana Pacers.