For the second time this month, Bulls guard Zach Lavine was caught on camera frustrated with head coach Jim Boylen and his timeout usage with the game out of reach. On Super Bowl Sunday, the Bulls were down 25 points in Toronto with a little over one minute left. Boylen calls a timeout. Lavine was on the bench at the time and when he heard the PA announcer say "timeout the Bulls," it was clear how disgusted he was by the look on his face as he uttered "WHYYY!"
Even the Raptors TV analyst Jack Armstrong was extremely flustered with Boylen and let everyone watching know it. Jim Boylen what are you doing? Seriously what strategy are you talking? It's a 25 point blowout. There's one minute and four seconds left. It's Super Bowl Sunday. I want to get out of here! Come on man...really??"
Fast forward to last night and the Bulls 112-104 loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Bulls were down 10 with 30.3 seconds left and Boylen burns a timeout. Coming back to the floor, Lavine (shaking his head) says "why would he call a timeout when we're down fucking ten."
When The Athletic's Darnell Mayberry asked Boyle about the late game timeouts with the game all but over and maybe frustrating his players, Boylen responded "he (Lavine) hasn't said a word to me about it agitating him. I don't know if you're reading his mind on that or if you're just making that assumption that that's what he's upset about. He hasn't said a word to me about it." He's very respectful about me coaching the team and me trying to help the team. You'll have to ask him. I'm sure you will."
No Darnell wasn't reading his mind. He was clearly reading his lips like the rest of us.
Locker room access was given to the media but before speaking to Lavine, we noticed Boylen pull Lavine into the back room to discuss the situation.
When asked about the timeout use, Zach with a half laugh says "that's what he do man...that's what he do. I don't know what to tell you. I'm not the coach. He's told me he likes working on things that we do in practice and things like that. He's the head coach. He can call timeout if he wants."
Those aren't the only two instances of Boylen's late game timeout management. He's called one down 12 in Washington with 42 seconds left, one in Philly with the Bulls down 8 with 28 seconds left and one against Charlotte down 9 with 40 seconds left.
Lavine is right. Boylen can call timeout if he wants to. He's not winning anyone over with his late game antics...especially Zach! The one thing I will give him is he's always available to the media and he keeps it very professional though he's clearly frustrated.
The Bulls (19-38) look to get off the eight game schneid tonight as they face Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards (20-34) at the United Center. Game time is 6 pm.