For the Bulls, there have been varying degrees of embarrassment this season.
Their 112-84 loss to the Magic at the United Center on Wednesday wasn’t as hideous as the 56-point home loss to the Celtics on Dec. 8 or the 121-96 dismantling in Oklahoma City on Dec. 17, but it still goes in the file cabinet under horrendous.
Which leads us to the question: Just how far is Jabari Parker actually buried in coach Jim Boylen’s doghouse?
After all, considering the Bulls went scoreless in the third quarter until the 7:10 mark after a layup by Zach LaVine, one would think they could use 15.2 points off the bench.
Well, not if they’re coming from a guy who plays the game the wrong way and is a detriment to the culture Boylen is looking to establish.
“Yeah, come ready to practice, just do what the other guys do,’’ Boylen reiterated. “We’ve got other guys out of the rotation, too, and they have to stay ready. So [Parker’s] doing all the same things those guys do, and you prepare for your opportunity. That’s part of what you get paid to do, and he’s doing that.’’
Boylen said he still has conversations with Parker.
“I talk to all my guys every day, and I encourage them every day,’’ Boylen said. ‘‘Do I have a 30-minute meeting with every guy every day? I don’t. . . . Those guys are men, too. They’ve got a job to do. I try not to coddle people, either.’’
The Parker trade talks are basically stalled, a source said.
The Bulls remain focused on moving him, and Parker’s camp is trying to keep things amicable, but the source said there was a huge disconnect between Parker and Boylen.
That was apparent against Orlando. Despite his team being humiliated, Boylen used Cristiano Felicio, Cam Payne and Antonio Blakeney, but not Parker.
That’s not the type of treatment an offseason free-agent acquisition usually receives, especially one who was given a two-year, $40 million contract.
It was not a proud night for any Bull, actually.
Starter Justin Holiday went 1-for-7, including 1-for-5 from three-point range. Rookie Wendell Carter Jr. was a dreadful 0-for-5 and went scoreless in his 13 minutes. And Kris Dunn saw his streak of seven games with at least six assists come to an end.
Still, Dunn and Co. remain committed to Boylen’s slow-it-down offensive style even though it goes against what the rest of the league is doing.
“I think I have good listening skills,’’ Dunn said of running what Boylen wants. “I just listen to what coaches want me to do. I’m never one to disobey a coach’s rules. There have been games where it worked. And there have been games where it’s on us to make shots. So it’s on us.’’
That opinion was shared by Lauri Markkanen, who felt the loss was simply attributable to a lack of effort all around.
“I feel like they had the edge that we didn’t,’’ Markkanen said. “You always think you’re ready to play, but they punched us in the mouth and got a good lead at the start. It felt like whatever we tried to do just didn’t go our way.’’