Boylen wants Bulls to practice getting off to fast start

Updated 10/2/2019 8:05 PM

One of the first orders of business at Bulls training camp is trying to make sure the first quarter goes well.

Coach Jim Boylen said he's been challenging players to go hard at the start of practice, so maybe they'll learn to start fast in games and be used to dealing with the fatigue that arrives in the fourth quarter.


"We went really hard yesterday and started off today going really hard," Boylen said Wednesday at the Advocate Center. "Something we talked about is first-quarter starts and starting the game with the right frame of mind, so we've been starting our practices going full-bore.

"Trying to create that kind of mentality, so we were fatigued early and then we fought through, which is really good. I like when you have to fight through practice fatigued. I think it's mentally good for us, and obviously physically good for us. It's Day 2, another step up the mountain."

The opening practice of training camp lasted three hours and Wednesday's session was similar. Boylen has suggested he might go lighter on Thursday.

Rookie impresses boss:

The Bulls have plenty of point guards on the roster, so rookie Coby White doesn't have to play if he's not ready. But coach Jim Boylen has been impressed so far.

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"He's not scared, which I love," Boylen said. "He's more physical than I thought. He's a big body (6-foot-5). He can play on the ball and off the ball, which we thought. He's shot the ball very well in camp. He puts a shoulder on you, you feel it. His physicality is what we hoped it would be, I didn't know if it would come this fast."

The Bulls chose White with the No. 7 pick of the draft out of North Carolina. Already this week, he's been spotted in the gym at night doing some extra shooting.

"He knows that he's not a finished product," Boylen said. "And there's some beauty in that from a young guy."

Final season for Funk

The Bulls formally announced that broadcaster Neil Funk will retire after this season. Funk, 72, has been with the Bulls for 28 years, joining the team for the 1991-92 season.

He cut down on his road schedule last season and that practice will continue this year. He's done both radio and television in his time with the Bulls.

Funk, an Indianapolis native, has also called games for the Philadelphia 76ers, Kansas City Kings and New Jersey Nets.


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