Last night in the Bulls home arena the Chicago professional basketball team suffered their worst loss in franchise history, by the score of...wait for it...133-77.
It was somehow more embarrassing than that number indicated considering the coaching ‘moves’ employed by not-interim Jim Boylen.
Listen, the starting lineup of Arcidiacono-LaVine-Holiday-Markkanen-Carter started out poorly, and Al Horford wasn’t even available for the Celtics. And ultimately the team was in a 17-0 then 23-4 deficit. But Boylen went to the ‘sub all 5 guys out’ (in his third game!) even earlier than you’d assume, it was merely 11-0 and only four and a half minutes in when he motioned for all five to get off the bench.
The bench unit, such that it is, finished the quarter as a -5. Then in the second quarter the starters (and then subbing in Parker for WCJ) were an actual positive +/- by 5 points in that stint.
So starting the 2nd half merely down 21, Boylen has an even shorter leash. After a LaVine-led shot-clock violation at 9:19 in the 3rd quarter and the deficit only increased by 2 points, he did the ‘sub all 5 out’ thing AGAIN. And the starters didn’t return for the rest of the game!
The Bulls bench is G-League bad, and the Celtics are extremely deep and did not let up, so as the pounding intensified there was no recourse for Boylen to put the starters back in.
The word embarrassment was tossed around a lot post-game. Players - especially LaVine - expressed their frustration and embarrassment, Boylen said the player should be embarrassed due to their play, and then Boylen managed to embarrass himself with the consistent allusions to former boss Gregg Popovich and arguing this was actually unique and bold strategy:
“Why have them play in a game that’s going to be difficult to win when the benefit to me is going to be practice (Sunday) and get better?” he said. “That was all premeditated. So I play them more, we lose and then we can’t practice (Sunday)? We double lose. And we don’t have time to do that.”
I...kinda get what he’s trying to pull, but the fact that this never happens in the NBA is probably a good indication why it shouldn’t. For one thing, don’t reference the disservice to the paying customer when you’re keeping the entertainment benched for a future practice they can’t see or give a crap about. And Boylen also referred to the professional team he coaches as ‘our program’, oy...
...yes, Bulls talk remains extremely dumb as hell, GarPax somehow managed to botch the Fred Hoiberg firing, and now we have a fittingly ‘embarrassing’ game result too.
Stay disappointed, but not discouraged: