Bulls' LaVine, Boylen Meet To Share Frustrations

Zach LaVine believes the Bulls need to be more organized in fourth quarters.

Cody Westerlund
February 22, 2020 - 10:49 pm
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CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Bulls guard Zach LaVine and coach Jim Boylen had a short postgame meeting to clear the air on a few grievances after the team fell 112-104 to the Suns at the United Center on Saturday night, which extended Chicago’s losing streak to a season-worst eight games.

The meeting came after LaVine was caught on camera expressing frustration over Boylen calling a timeout with the Bulls trailing by 10 with 30.3 seconds left. It was at least the second time this season that cameras had caught LaVine displaying irritation over Boylen’s habit for calling timeouts late in games that have been decided.

“We’re good,” LaVine said of his meeting with Boylen. “It just gets frustrating when you’re not winning. I think everybody gets frustrated. I wish we were in the game at the end of games. Obviously, we’ve lost (eight) in a row. I want to be a winner. It gets tough when you starting losing.

“We were just talking about things throughout the game, stuff I didn’t like and then some stuff that happened throughout the games – player-coach things that we just talk about every once in awhile.”

Asked about the late timeouts specifically, LaVine continued.

“That’s what he do,” LaVine said of Boylen. “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 we do in practice and things like that. He’s the head coach. He can call a timeout if he wants to.

“I just wish we were in the game. We played a really good game throughout the whole game and then we lose control. It’s just frustrating when you know at the end. Obviously, you never know what can happen type thing, but you’re down 10 with 30 seconds left, it’s just tough stay to locked in at the end of that.”

On multiple occasions, Boylen has defended his unconventional use of timeouts in blowouts by citing a need to develop all the players on his roster. He did so again Saturday.

“We were just trying to get a three, execute something we’ve been working on, an action that we’ve been working on,” Boylen said of his timeout, which preceded Ryan Arcidiacono getting to the free-throw line.

Boylen spoke to the media before he met with LaVine. At that time, he added that LaVine hadn’t previously expressed his frustration over timeout use and then maintained that he doesn’t believe his players are irritated by it.

 “I don’t think it is agitating guys,” Boylen said. “You’ll have to ask them. I’m sure you will.”

LaVine was indeed asked, and he was open about more than just the timeout management. His frustration extends to more significant matters as well after the Bulls fell to 19-38.

“We got to get more organized in the fourth (quarter),” LaVine said. “Sometimes we call a play and dudes are on the wrong page and then you get forced into something that you don’t want to, if it’s a bad play or a bad shot. You got to do something, but it’s easier when you’re organized at the end of games. And that’s what, you know, it’s tough. We’ve got dudes that haven’t played out there for a while and things like that. So it’s just where we’re at.”

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.