Bulls forward Jabari Parker plans to return Friday, but he wants more minutes

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There was plenty for the Bulls to complain about Thursday.

Their breakdowns in defensive communication, their ongoing lack of toughness, their execution on the offensive end — pick a problem.

Forward Jabari Parker did, and it was his playing time.

Parker played only 12 minutes in the Bulls’ victory Monday against the Cavaliers that ended a 10-game losing streak, then sat out their loss Wednesday to the Hawks with a strained patellar tendon in his right knee.

‘‘Yeah, I hope to,’’ Parker said when he was asked whether he planned to play Friday against the Clippers. ‘‘Hope to play good minutes, though. Good minutes.’’

When he was asked what he meant by ‘‘good minutes,’’ Parker replied: ‘‘Hopefully it’s not small spurts. Hopefully I can get in there to my capabilities, be a 20-minute, 25-minute guy. Ten minutes is not fitting for me. That’s just what I hold the standard for myself.’’

As Parker has learned, however, his standard and the standard of coach Jim Boylen seldom match up. Since taking over for fired Fred Hoiberg on Dec. 3, Boylen has kept Parker on the bench the entire game 12 times.

Parker finally got out of the doghouse last week against the Jazz, with Boylen explaining that Parker began doing what was asked of him in practice more regularly. Basically, he started playing defense in practice, as well as getting in better shape.


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In the victory against the Cavaliers, Boylen opted to play the starters longer minutes, so that meant less time for Parker. Parker said he wants to see that change against the Clippers.

‘‘I know what I can do,’’ said Parker, who is making $20 million this season. ‘‘I know who I am. I’m the same player. From there, it’s just getting an opportunity to be able to show it.’’

‘‘I think he’d like to be a 20-, 25-minute-a-game guy,’’ Boylen said of Parker. ‘‘I understand that. Some nights it will work out that way, and some nights it won’t. What I was happy about [against the Cavaliers] is in that second half, he played well. He didn’t have quite as good an impact on the game in the first half. But he came in in the second half and did. That’s what we need.

‘‘You have to give him credit. He hit two big shots and helped the team win. We can’t lose sight of that.’’

As far as the other issues staring the Bulls in the face, the list continued to grow after they were walloped by the Hawks. All guard Zach LaVine knows for sure is that Bulls fans have had enough.

‘‘The NBA, the things that are going on with us, we’re looked down upon,’’ LaVine said. ‘‘That’s not right, especially for a franchise of this stature. It doesn’t feel good going out there and being an underdog or teams disrespecting you and not looking at you as equal.

‘‘Or even your fans, they start talking mess to you and stuff like that. I mean, you hear because they are frustrated, just like we are, and you hear it. . . . You get frustrated at it. I don’t like it, but it’s what you expect. We have to go out there and play better. We have to go out and show we’re fighting and we play hard. I feel like that’s all they want to see.’’

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