Coach Jim Boylen seeing the ‘sharing and caring’ he wants on offense

SHARE Coach Jim Boylen seeing the ‘sharing and caring’ he wants on offense

When Bulls coach Jim Boylen cut back on former coach Fred Hoiberg’s offensive playbook, it wasn’t a slight on Hoiberg as much as it was a return to the basics for a group of players he thought needed a reboot.

Before being fired Dec. 3, Hoiberg’s main objective was to develop his young players. He did that, despite a staggering number of injuries.

Boylen, however, wanted to re-teach the Bulls from the ground up. And the 101-92 victory Friday against the Wizards — the Bulls’ fifth in 12 games since the coaching change — might have been the most satisfying for Boylen, based on how core pieces Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn started to come together.

All three players had their moments, and when the Bulls needed big baskets, the hot hand — LaVine, in this case — got the ball and was given the opportunity to finish.

‘‘The main thing is we’re learning how to win,’’ LaVine said. ‘‘We’re trying to figure out our spots, stay aggressive. . . . There’s only one ball out there.’’

And in key moments, it was in his hands. LaVine finished with 24 points, 19 of them in the second half.


Zach LaVine’s big second half sparks Bulls past Wizards 101-92

Wendell Carter Jr. takes another step in victory vs. Wizards

‘‘We don’t know what’s out there yet,’’ Boylen said of a core threesome that has been more of an enigma than an up-and-coming trio. ‘‘I do know that it’s going to come down to sharing and caring and uplifting each other.

‘‘I looked at some of the numbers from other teams. [Kevin] Durant wasn’t the leading scorer for Golden State last year

every game. He had some games that he was the leading scorer. Klay Thompson wasn’t the leading scorer for that team. And I’m not comparing our team to theirs. I’m just [saying] you’re not going to have the same leading scorer every night if you have a good team.

‘‘You have to have guys that are working the right matchup. You have to have guys that are executing and unselfish. Respectful offense — that’s what we’re going to try to do.’’

That blueprint showed itself against the Wizards. Markkanen struggled with his shot (5-for-15 overall, 1-for-5 from three-point range) but finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds, and Dunn had 13 points and eight assists. It was the fourth consecutive game in which he had seven or more assists.

And then there was the bonus. Rookie Wendell Carter Jr., who has been battling inconsistency, scored 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting and had 13 rebounds.

‘‘That’s what we’re talking about: sharing and caring, executing our offense with a pure heart, open man gets the ball,’’ Boylen said. ‘‘It’s about, ‘I’m going to honor my obligation within everything we do.’ That’s what we talk about, and that applies to the 15th guy or the first guy. It’s our job to coach that, and I’m going to coach it.’’

LaVine said it’s an easy group to coach.

‘‘I don’t think anybody is just like, ‘Look, I’m the No. 1 guy, nobody else can say so,’ ’’ LaVine said. ‘‘I don’t think we have a team like that, have personalities like that.’’

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