Bulls coach Jim Boylen staying soundproof, even to agitated players

The first-year head coach is staying away from the front office restructure talk, but couldn’t duck questions about his late-game timeouts starting to wear out his own players ... Zach LaVine, c’mon down!

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With all kinds of talk about a reboot underway in the Bulls’ front office, coach JimBoylen is staying focused on the business of basketball rather than just the business.

“My focus is to continue to coach this team and develop this group of guys,’’ Boylen said Saturday. “I have my marching orders from the front office to develop this group, get us to play hard, compete and play the guys that are healthy and try and make them better. That’s what I’m focused on.

“As far as a distraction for the team and all that, I haven’t felt that. The guys have done a good job of the task at hand.’’

Against the Suns, the Bulls’ task was to try to end a seven-game losing streak, keep their fading playoff hopes alive and continue to make sure the young players are headed in the right direction.

One of those boxes was checked, thanks to rookie Coby White scoring a career-high 33 points, but the bleeding continued as the Bulls fell 112-104 at the United Center.

And it seems each loss provokes a louder scream from the fan base for immediate change.

The problem is the Bulls’ top brass will play the long game in this. Management still is identifying potential candidates to run the team, as well as what type of power structure it wants.

The Sun-Times reported last weekend that there is a strong possibility that however the front office is rebuilt, Boylen’s job will be put under the microscope, especially if the new hire or hires are given full autonomy.

Boylen reiterated that he remains in a soundproof mindset.

“You know me pretty well,’’ Boylen said. “I don’t really listen to the noise. I don’t really listen to the cheers, I don’t listen to the negative stuff. I’ve got a job to do, I love what I’m doing and I really like this group of guys. We’ve had some tough breaks, we’ve had some difficult situations, we’ve had some tough moments. That’s part of being in the big leagues.’’

The latest tough moment for the Bulls, who fell to 19-38?

It was a familiar one: the seasonlong stumbling block that is the third quarter.

The Bulls had a 57-47 halftime lead and felt good about themselves, then came out with yet another big stumble. The Suns (23-34) opened the third with a 13-0 run before the home team seemed to realize that the second half had started.

By the time the quarter ended, the Bulls were outscored 36-23 and were outrebounded 14-8, including allowing six offensive rebounds. That theme continued in the fourth quarter, as they had no answer for Deandre Ayton in the paint.

The Suns big man scored 12 fourth-quarter points and grabbed seven offensive rebounds. He finished with 28 points and 19 boards against a small Bulls lineup.

The most excitement in the fourth quarter?

Television cameras picked up Zach LaVine seemingly questioning a Boylen timeout with the Bulls down 10 and just 30 seconds left.

It was the second time this season that LaVine has looked unhappy with his coach doing that late in games.

“He hasn’t said anything to me about it agitating him,’’ Boylen said.

The coach did pull LaVine into a back room after the game to discuss it.

“We’re good,’’ LaVine said. “It just gets frustrating when you’re not winning. . . . We were just talking about some things throughout the game, some stuff I didn’t like . . . player-coach things.’’

As far as Boylen’s late-game timeouts, LaVine said, “That’s what he do, man . . . I don’t know what to tell you. I’m not the coach.’’

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