Bulls lose heartbreaker as Zach LaVine misses three-pointer just before buzzer
For the second time in a little more than a week, the Bulls lost to the Warriors (5-19).
The Knicks fired coach David Fizdale on Friday.
Cavaliers players reportedly are tuning out rookie coach John Beilein already.
NBA coaching seats are fragile. The Bulls’ Jim Boylen is well aware of that.
‘‘Well, I’m disappointed with both those situations,’’ Boylen said when asked about the coaching landscape around the league. ‘‘I’m disappointed for David. When we played against Cleveland, I thought coach Beilein’s team played hard and competed. I felt that way with New York, too.
‘‘So I’m going to continue to coach our team as hard as I can — teach and coach. We’re growing; we’re getting better. It’s a very, very difficult league.’’
While Boylen’s job security remains on solid ground, according to the latest accounts, he did have to deal with a coup attempt last season when he first took over for fired coach Fred Hoiberg. It was squashed quickly, but such incidents — combined with losing games — definitely plant seeds, and weeds can grow everywhere.
Especially considering the dysfunction of the Bulls.
So the fact that the Bulls (8-15) have lost twice to the Warriors (5-19) in the span of a little more than a week should make Boylen understand that good faith from the front office has a shelf life.
‘‘We have improved; we have grown,’’ Boylen said after a 100-98 loss Friday. ‘‘There are moments where we have to do better. I think we can do it.
‘‘I am confident because we practice hard [and] we care. We’re starting to figure out how to play with each other and rely on each other and coach each other. We’re disappointed we lost this game, all of us. We don’t like losing.’’
Especially like they did against the Warriors.
The Bulls’ bench handed their starters a four-point lead with 8:32 left. Within four minutes, the Warriors had the lead in the back-and-forth game.
With 1:26 left, the Warriors’ Draymond Green split two free throws to give the Warriors a 98-97 lead. But Zach LaVine answered by splitting two free throws of his own to tie the score with 1:18 left.
A sleeping Bulls defense then gave up an alley-oop dunk to Glenn Robinson III with 1:03 left and, after each team sputtered, the Bulls called a timeout with 13 seconds left.
LaVine waved off a pick-and-roll for an isolation play, then settled for a three-point try that clanged off the back of the rim.
‘‘Obviously, I didn’t want to give them another possession,’’ LaVine, who scored 22 points, said of that final shot. ‘‘I could have taken it to the hoop [and] tried to get fouled or obviously gone for the game. . . . It was supposed to be me and Lauri [Markkanen] in the pick-and-roll, but Draymond was being that guy to switch, and I didn’t want to deal with him in the pick-and-roll. So I rejected it.
‘‘I looked at the clock, and it was three seconds, I think. I had a good look. Hit the back of the rim. I thought it was good.’’
So did Boylen, whose only complaint was that LaVine didn’t shoot a bit earlier in the possession to give the Bulls time for an offensive rebound.
‘‘Yeah, the timing of it could be better, but it’s a rhythm thing; it’s how you feel,’’ Boylen said. ‘‘I believe in him in that situation, and it didn’t go down. We’ll learn from it and move forward.’’