What in the world is Jim Boylen talking about?
As if Chicago Bulls fans needed any other reason to dislike Jim Boylen, Tuesday night gave them another gigantic one that they probably won’t forget any time soon.
The Bulls led the Los Angeles Lakers by 13 points heading into the fourth quarter, only to see the Lakers rip off a 16-0 run and eventually come away with a six-point win.
That’s not too out of the ordinary. After all, the Lakers are a very good team, and they are certainly better than the young Bulls, who, while talented, still clearly have a lot to learn.
But the problem wasn’t so much with the run; it was with how Boylen handled the run.
You would think that if you are on the wrong end of a 16-0 spurt, you would call a timeout at some point during that stretch. Instead, Boylen waited until Los Angeles had already torn off 16 straight to decide to talk things over.
And the only subs he made during that time? When Zach LaVine and Wendell Carter Jr. re-entered the game on a dead ball that came after LA was nine points into its run.
So, Boylen didn’t call a timeout, and he probably waited far too long to put his starters back in.
The result? Chicago collapsing and the Lakers taking full advantage.
Afterward, Boylen had a convoluted explanation as to why he did what he did (or didn’t do), saying that “timeouts have nothing to do with a free-throw boxout” or “moving it to the next guy,” per Cody Westerlund of 670 The Score.
When, then, should you use a timeout?
The Bulls may have been having some issues that were easily fixable, but they’re a young team, and those are issues that could have easily been pointed out during, you know, a timeout.
It’s not like Chicago was playing the Cavaliers or the Pelicans, either. It was playing one of the best clubs in the NBA, a squad that houses two top-five players in LeBron James and Anthony Davis and a bunch of wily veterans.
Basically, the Lakers can easily beat young, inexperienced clubs with that formula, and sometimes, the only way to combat it is to sit down with your young players, get them some rest to regain their bearings and settle them down by highlighting what exactly they are doing wrong and how they should correct it to stop the bleeding.
But Boylen didn’t do that, instead electing to run with his guys (many of which were bench players) in order to “learn to play winning basketball” (his words; not mine).
Perhaps the best part of Boylen’s explanation was that he said he has “never yanked guys,” even though he did that very thing at times last season.
To me, it seems like Boylen knows deep down that he probably messed up and simply does not want to take ownership. Sometimes, it’s okay to be wrong, and if Boylen wants to succeed as an NBA head coach, he needs to understand that going forward.
Boylen actually had his guys playing solid basketball at the end of last season, so he has done some things right.
But Tuesday evening just gave Bulls fans another excuse to want him gone.