This will be quick, since it’s been harped on many times before here: after Bulls losses, Jim Boylen keeps exposing himself as someone who has no solutions, and thus he claims there’s no actual problems.
He did it again after consecutive losses over the weekend.
‘‘We have improved; we have grown. There are moments where we have to do better. I think we can do it. I am confident because we practice hard [and] we care. We’re starting to figure out how to play with each other and rely on each other and coach each other. We’re disappointed we lost this game, all of us. We don’t like losing.’’
“Nobody likes to lose. We’re not happy with the loss. I’ve got a frustrated group of guys in there that want to win. That’s important, but I have to measure this young group in other ways than that. I have to.
We did a lot of really good things. Ultimately you want to win. I cannot take away from the good things we do and the growth we’re making. But it hurts.”
Boylen may say he’s frustrated, but he doesn’t offer any paths towards improvement (outside of nebulous ‘consistency’) and be damned sure he doesn’t offer any introspection to how his coaching is falling short.
Instead it’s mostly about pinpointing ‘spurts’ or particular facets of a game that he is seeing as growth. That, and always mentioning how young the team is.
It’s true the Bulls have a young team, though in these last two games it wasn’t that big of a factor. I calculated weighted age for both contests (essentially the age of each player on gameday multiplying their share of minutes played).
Against Miami the Bulls weighed age was 24.3 years, and the Heat was at 24.9 years. The home Warriors loss saw no Thad Young, so the Bulls were even younger at just under 24 years, but the Warriors after their injuries are only at 25.2 years old. In the first Warriors loss the Bulls were actually the older team.
I doubt Boylen went into this season telling his revered bosses that they should expect to lose this much simply because they’re young. Because he was instead selling immediately competing for the playoffs, and his benefactors agreed. Now that it’s not happening, instead of admitting failure and ways he can improve, he’s moving the goalposts.
It’s pathetic. And going to be made worse after there is some bogus wins later in the year that’ll be pointed to as ‘growth’. If winning the 1st quarter in a game is so important to Boylen, shouldn’t the first quarter of the season, especially against an easy schedule, also be weighed heavily?
And yes that implies Boylen will see out this season. Just today The Athletic did a roundup of coaching rumors after we saw our first firing of the season in New York. When it came to Boylen, “sources say he remains unpopular in the Chicago locker room” yet “Paxson remains a fan of Boylen’s tough-love approach despite the disappointing results”.
The Bulls are likely banking on apathy now. There was only one media member in Miami yesterday, and attendance is dwindling. But I think the players ‘care factor’ makes them get sick of losing much more quickly than coaching and management. And unlike the latter group, the players know better coaching would help.