Bulls head coach Jim Boylen after the Bulls 22nd loss in 35 games
"We are laying the foundation and the building blocks for this. We're in a new system with a new team with a new coach. I wanted to be a
defensive team...we are. We need to improve our rebounding, we need to improve our defending without fouling & we need to improve
offensively. Those are things I'm gonna work on and I'm not gonna be deterred from that mission. I like this group of men. They work, they care
and they try to represent the city and play hard. I think they play really hard and we're gonna keep working at it." - Bulls head coach Jim Boylen
The Bulls still have only ONE win against teams with a winning record...yes ONE! (It came against the LA Clippers who were missing 2019 Finals
MVP Kawhi Leonard, defensive locksmith Patrick Beverley & 6th man extraordinaire Lou Williams) I don't expect coach Boylen to
trash his young squad to the media but the growth & learning spill is getting old. "We battled. I thought we played really hard & we're gonna
grown & learn from it" has been the theme of Boylen's post game pressers after 95% of the Bulls home losses & it didn't stop after their 102-98
loss to the Utah Jazz last night at the United Center. (I made a bet with Tony Gill from NBC Sports Chicago that Boylen would reference the
phrase "grow & learn" at least 3 times...he said 4. We were both wrong as he hit a season low of mentioning it twice.)
The Bulls had a 4 point halftime lead and extended it to as much as 11 in the 3rd quarter. Utah proceeded to outscore them 24-4 to take a 71-62 lead with 2:38 left to play in the 3rd. Chicago did battle back and tied the game at 96 on a Zach Lavine 26 foot 3 pointer as the shot clock was winding down with 1:43 left to play. Bojan Bogdanovic (19 pts) was fouled and made 2 free throws to give Utah a 2 pt lead. It was heat check time/hero ball for Lavine as he launched another 26 footer that missed long. A missed layup & another missed 28 foot 3 from Lavine & the Bulls found themselves 1-13 against winning teams.
When asked if he thought Lavine (9-26 FG/3-11 3 PT/26 pts) could've gotten a better look when they were down 98-96, Boylen had his guard's back. "He's been good in those situations. We had the ball in our best players hands and we trust him in that situation. He's done it before & we're gonna keep putting him in those situations and keep believing in him. The dilemma is do you call a timeout. They've got a top 2 or 3 defense in the league so you're not gonna call a timeout & set something up."
Lavine thinks they are a play or two away from turning those L's to W's. "We're right there pretty much every night. Just a couple of plays here and there from having that lead with 30-40 seconds left. It comes down to defensive stops & executing plays. You get frustrated obviously but you can't let it affect the next game or you'll go out there and get your butt kicked."
The Bulls have a chance to show and prove Saturday evening as Kemba Walker and 23-8 Boston Celtics invade the United Center.