Bulls coach Jim Boylen isn’t about to start apologizing for muddying up games

SHARE Bulls coach Jim Boylen isn’t about to start apologizing for muddying up games
SHARE Bulls coach Jim Boylen isn’t about to start apologizing for muddying up games

TORONTO — The Bulls’ traveling party arrived at the Scotiabank Arena about 10 minutes later than expected Sunday afternoon.

“I think the driver circled past the entrance [to the arena], like, four times,’’ one Bull said of the snafu hours before the tipoff against the Raptors.

Even the bus rides are ugly these days.

“Sorry we’re late,’’ Bulls coach Jim Boylen said. “We had a detour.’’

He wouldn’t apologize, however, for the Bulls’ old-school style of play and doing everything he could to get his players to ugly up the game.

“We have to crawl before we walk, and we’ve got to walk before we run,’’ Boylen said.

But along the way, the Bulls neglected to hit the boards, and that was a huge factor in their 95-89 loss.

“It’s gut-wrenching,’’ Boylen said. “We had a couple of guys run out after the contest, and you’ve got to get back into the scoring area and get the ball. We’ll work on that; we’ll coach that. We gave up 24 second-chance points and 21 [points] off turnovers, so we gave up [45] points off things that I think we’ve got to control better. So that’s what we’ve got to coach.’’

Boylen’s crew did make it interesting, muddying up the first quarter to take a 20-14 lead.

Kyle Lowry and Jonas Valanciunas weren’t available because of injuries, but Toronto still showed the young Bulls why it has a 27-11 record, including a 14-4 mark at home.

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It would’ve been the fourth win in the last five games for the Bulls (10-27), but, alas, it was simply another reminder of the work they have to put in for Boylen to be satisfied.

“We have to do the basics of the game better, which is space it, post it, pass it, drive it,’’ Boylen said. “Our paint drives are up, and our finishing numbers are up. Those are the things I’m looking at. I don’t even know, to be honest with you, what guys are averaging playing for us right now. And then the constant has got to be the defensive end of the floor.’’

That wasn’t the case for the full 48 minutes, especially in the rebounding department.

“Those [17] offensive rebounds killed us,’’ guard Zach LaVine said. “Sometimes the bounces just don’t go your way. I think that’s the main thing that killed us — the second-chance points and the offensive rebounds. We were hanging tough.’’

Despite the miscues, they made the Raptors work for everything.

LaVine, who went 3-for-17 from the field, took the loss especially hard.

“I’m still coming off this [injured left] ankle, so I still don’t have the lift, but I’ve got to make them regardless,’’ LaVine said. “It’s just one of those days. I wish I could just go back and make them because I know at least five of them I could make. The rest were tough ones, but it bounces that way sometimes.’’

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