CHICAGO – One of the most criticized parts of Jim Boylen’s in-game strategy during his time with the Bulls is his use of timeouts.
On occasion, he’s burned all of them in the third and early fourth quarter, leaving none for when the team needs them down the stretch. At other times, Boylen has taken timeouts in the final minute of games when the result has been decided.
Saturday game saw another example of the latter when the Bulls were well behind the Suns in the final minute of the game. Down by ten with 30 seconds left, Boylen took a timeout after a free throw by Ricky Rubio, and it appeared to draw the ire of guard Zach LaVine.
"Why call a timeout down f*cking 10"
8 game losing streak for the Bulls…Gotta feel for Zach pic.twitter.com/XdGlParzJr
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 23, 2020
The NBC Sports Chicago cameras caught the guard questioning the call after the timeout was complete, as he appeared to say “Why call a timeout down (expletive) 10.” It’s the second time this has happened this year with a timeout late in a game already decided, with cameras capturing LaVine’s displeasure with the decision.
In a blowout loss to the Raptors in Toronto on Super Bowl Sunday, LaVine wondered why the Bulls called timeout down by 24 points with just over a minute to go, with his displeasure being captured by the game broadcast.
Boylen was asked about LaVine’s reaction after the Bulls’ 112-104 loss to Phoenix and whether it was worth taking the late timeouts at the expense of causing frustration with the players.
“He hasn’t said a word about it to me agitating him,” said Boylen in response. “I don’t know if you’re reading his mind on that or you’re just making the assumption or that’s what he was 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.”
Zach LaVine says his frustration over Jim Boylen’s late timeout use in games that are decided stems from #Bulls’ struggles.
Of those late timeouts by Boylen, LaVine says, “That’s what he do. I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not the coach.” pic.twitter.com/oY3eiGlBTD
— Cody Westerlund (@CodyWesterlund) February 23, 2020
In speaking with reporters after the game, LaVine confirmed that he talked with Boylen following the coach’s news conference, saying that the pair are on good terms and that everyone’s frustrated during a season-long eight-game losing streak.