Parker ready to play, but prefers significant minutes

After sitting out Wednesday's game with a knee issue, Jabari Parker said he's not only ready to play Friday, he wants to play significant minutes.

"Hopefully, it's not small spurts," Parker said Thursday at the Advocate Center. "Hopefully I can get in there to my capabilities. Being a 20-minute, 25-per-minute guy, 10 minutes is not fitting for me. That's just what I hold the standard for myself."

It's a reasonable request. Since Parker's exile ended, he averaged 13.5 points and shot 60.7 percent from the field over a four-game stretch. His most recent appearance on Monday in Cleveland featured 10 points in 12 minutes.

"I know what I can do. I know who I am," Parker said. "I'm the same player. From there, it's just getting an opportunity to be able to show it."

Coach Jim Boylen wouldn't commit to playing Parker a certain number of minutes. Parker sat out 12 of 13 games recently when Boylen asked for a better defensive effort in practice.

"I think he'd like to be a 20-, 25-minute a game guy. I understand that," Boylen said. "Some nights it will work out that way and some nights it won't.

"What I was happy about is in the minutes he was in that second half, he played well (at Cleveland). He didn't have as quite a good of impact on the game in the first half. But he came in the second half and did. That's what we need. You have to give him credit. He hit two big shots and helped the team win. We can't lose sight of that."

Despite the ups and downs this season, Parker was ready to look forward when he spoke Thursday.

"I'm not a quitter. I'm not a blamer," he said. "All I am is a guy who just finds growth. We can grow."

LaVine still buying:

The Bulls changed coaches Dec. 3, but there hasn't been much improvement under Jim Boylen, even though he started out with a healthier roster.

Zach LaVine was asked Thursday if the players are buying into Boylen's plan.

"You've got to, he's the coach," LaVine said. "We're going out there and we've got to play. I think above everything, we've got to go out there and play for ourselves and what we represent as well, because us going out there getting blown out doesn't help any of our stock either. We've got to go out there and play better."

Seeking better switches:

A persistent problem for the Bulls is giving up easy baskets because players mess up defensive assignments. Typically, the opponent sets a screen and one Bulls switches, while the other doesn't, resulting in someone getting wide open. Zach LaVine was asked how the Bulls can fix this.

"That is on us and the coaching staff," he said. "We have to do a better job of communicating what we want on the floor. We have a lot of indecision and we can't have that in basketball. We should know exactly what we're doing.

"If we play defense, it will be fine. But you can't just have we are in a blitz and were supposed to be in a switch or something like that and a dude gets out in the lane. That happens too much with us."

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