Boylen determined not to let mistakes linger as he leads Chicago Bulls

Updated 12/5/2018 8:02 PM
  • Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen talks with Zach LaVine during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in Indianapolis. Indiana won 96-90.

    Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen talks with Zach LaVine during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, in Indianapolis. Indiana won 96-90.

In many ways, the Chicago Bulls' loss to Indiana in Jim Boylen's NBA head-coaching debut wasn't much different from the 19 losses under Fred Hoiberg this season.

But Boylen did seem determined to assert his coaching style Tuesday. Based on this game, that appears to be a coach who plans to point out mistakes when they happen and not let bad habits slide.

"That's how I was raised in the game by my high school coach, by my college coach, by the guys I've worked for," Boylen said Wednesday after a long practice at the Advocate Center. "No better time than the present. Stop it now, don't wait."

There were several examples of Boylen reacting to mistakes late in the 96-90 loss to the Pacers:

• At the end of the third quarter, the Bulls could have held for the last shot, but Jabari Parker made an ill-advised alley-oop pass toward Wendell Carter Jr. that resulted in a turnover.

As Indiana raced downcourt, Parker paused for a second with that "why-didn't-you-catch-that look," before heading back on defense. Fortunately for the Bulls, Doug McDermott missed a 3-point shot just before the buzzer.

When the quarter ended, Boylen walked to midcourt to intercept Parker and Carter, and he delivered some lengthy instructions. He continued even after Parker started to walk away.

• Boylen pulled Parker out of the game after he missed a box out of Domantas Sabonis with 2:24 left in the game. This might have been the most important possession down the stretch. Lauri Markkanen hit a 3-pointer to bring the Bulls within 85-82.

They needed a stop and got one when Bojan Bodganovich missed a 3-pointer. But while Parker stood and watched the ball in the air, Sabonis ran past him, grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled by Parker.

After Boylen sent Carter in to replace Parker, Darren Collison hit a jumper to put the Pacers back up by 5.

• Not long after, Ryan Arcidiacono committed a turnover trying to throw a bounce pass out of a double team. Boylen's response was to send in Cameron Payne, who hit a 3-pointer that made it 88-85 with 1:36 left.

• On the other end, Payne did a nice job of fighting through a screen to stick with Collison, so the Pacers went to center Myles Turner, who hit a jumper over Carter to send the lead back to 5.

With the Bulls trailing 90-85, Zach LaVine launched a 3-pointer with 29 seconds left that was well off the mark. Boylen could be seen having a long conversation with LaVine on the sideline while using the universal hand signal for, "Take it to the basket."

Yes, Boylen said Wednesday, that's the style he intends to use as head coach.

"We're going to try to coach our guys on the fly and on the spot," Boylen said. "You miss things and you don't get everything. It's more about them knowing we're going to do that, than doing that. It's more about them understanding that's the way we're going to do it around here, that's the culture we're trying to build."

Boylen had one more wrinkle, away from public view, which he took from San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich.

"I learned from Pop, you can show film after the game," Boylen said. "We showed five or six clips right after the game, because they're fresh, they're live and that's when you can make the most impact."

This will be a work in progress for a few weeks. New coach, Markkanen back from injury, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis should be playing again soon.

LaVine seemed to take the changes in stride.

"We're pretty used to him (Boylen)," Lavine said after the game in Indiana. "He's going to have that same personality he had as an assistant. It's a change of pace, but I think we're going to get used to it."

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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