Jim Boylen’s late-game breaks while confronting unfavorable shortages are here to stay.
“We were down eight (points) with 40 seconds to go in Charlotte and won. So it does happen,” Boylen said. “But I can see where people would think it’s unnecessary. That’s OK.”
That Boylen considered some doubting of his late-game strategies is the only change right now. They’ve become a bigger story because, for the second time this season, cameras indicated Zach LaVine communicating disappointment or bewilderment over the move.
Following Boylen’s most recent case of the training — with the Bulls down 10 and 40 seconds to go in Saturday’s misfortune to the Suns — the mentor questioned the affirmation that his players are baffled by his unusual strategies. All things considered, he met with LaVine before LaVine tended to journalists late Saturday.
“[LaVine]’s frustrated. I think our team is frustrated. Nobody likes to lose games. We’re competitive people. I coach to the end of games. You guys know that. Could some people judge look at that timeout as unnecessary? Of course, they can. You can judge it any way you want,” Boylen said before Sunday’s game versus the Wizards. “He’s a fighter. We’re going to fight to the end. I’m going to coach our guys to the end. I think there’s a misconception that Zach and I only talk when there’s something good to talk about or something bad to talk about. We talk all the time. I think it’s a healthy, productive relationship.”
Boylen said LaVine disclosed to him that he’s the mentor and can call break at whatever point he needs, which squares with what LaVine told journalists. In any case, LaVine likewise admitted to it is difficult to remain secured for formative breaks even with such enormous shortfalls, also the consistent losing.
In any case, Boylen made light of LaVine’s public responses.
“You can video me on a 2-on-1 when we turn it over and I make an expression. You can video me on a wide-open 3-pointer we miss and then on the other end they make a contested three and I make an expression. You can do that on every clip and every situation,” Boylen said. “[Setting the tone is] all I’ve been trying to do. I did it last year. I did it this year. We’re trying to establish that we’re going to play until the end and we’re going to compete. We’ve had some tremendous comeback wins this year where we’ve kept playing so I think the guys get that. But I think what we can’t do is not expect people to be frustrated with a losing streak or a home loss. That’s a healthy thing that there’s frustration. It’s a healthy thing that you’ve got competitive people that are upset that we’re hurt and we’re fighting to win games.”
Boylen said the front office supports his act of instructing as far as possible.
“I talked to (executive vice president) John (Paxson) this morning. We talk every day,” Boylen said. “I told him, ‘I’m gonna coach these guys hard. John (said), ‘Keep doing what you’re doing.’ It’s what we have to do.
“Is there a chance where maybe I’m more competitive in those situations? I think I have to own that.”
Inquired as to whether it’s nearly rebellion, Boylen concurred.
“That I don’t want to lose? Yeah. I don’t like losing,” he said. “We had a 17-point lead. I thought we played our hearts out — shorthanded — and we battled, got the game back under control. We’re up 1 with 7 minutes to go and we didn’t play very well the last seven minutes, but yeah I’m hanging onto that.”
Boylen additionally called a break in Toronto in the fading minutes on Super Bowl Sunday with the Bulls down more than 20 points. A Raptors broadcaster reproached Boylen for the move.
However, Boylen on Sunday repeated what he said that day, that the break was for formative purposes.
“The thing in Toronto is a different situation. How many ATOs do you think Adam Mokoka has had drawn up for him? So that’s a different situation — coaching a guy that’s part of our development program, is in a situation he’s never been in and to have something run for him, I think that’s important,” Boylen said. “I don’t worry about if (criticism) is fair or not. I’ve got a job to do. I don’t listen to the cheers and I don’t listen to the boos and I don’t listen to the negativity. I don’t do it. I’ve got a job to do, and I’m going to keep doing it.”
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