Chicago Bulls: Jim Boylen allows hideous tank loss to Celtics

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

New head coach Jim Boylen made sure that the Chicago Bulls would endure their worst loss in franchise history on Saturday night.

When Jim Boylen took over for the recently-fired Fred Hoiberg as head coach of the Chicago Bulls, we thought we would see a tougher, grittier team. Boylen alluded that he may slow things down a bit and that these Bulls wouldn’t run as much as they did under Hoiberg.

On Saturday night, they did a bit of running — they were run out of their own building.

The Boston Celtics handed the Bulls their worst loss in franchise history, beating them 133-77. The Bulls scored 17 points in three different quarters, while scoring 26 in the second. They shot just over 38 percent from the floor while allowing the Celtics to shoot nearly 54 percent on the night.

The Bulls were out-rebounded 54 to 37. They had 15 turnovers compared to the Celtics’ eight.

Boston sunk 22 of 43 three-pointers. Yes, you read that right. That’s good for over 51 percent.

You know it was bad when Shaquille Harrison and Cameron Payne are playing 29 and 25 minutes apiece. Once again, yes, you read that right. But, how did we get to that point?

With 9:02 left to go in the third quarter — less than three minutes into the second half — Boylen threw in the towel. The Bulls were down 69-46 at that point, when Boylen pulled all of his starters.

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It was a 23-point game with nearly an entire half of basketball to go. Why remove your starters for the rest of the game? Boylen tried explaining it, per The Chicago Tribune:

"“I wanted to give the other guys a chance to right the ship a little bit … Every coach in the league is trying to get their team to buy in. And I think there are moments they feel they are and moments they feel they aren’t. It’s figuring out why they aren’t and changing it. We’ve got a long ways to go.’’"

A long ways to go? Obviously this team has a long ways to go. Injuries have been part of the equation, but you don’t get to a record of 6-21 by accident. This team has talent, but it needs leadership, and that starts with the head coach.

If you take your starters out with just under half the game remaining, that doesn’t send the correct message. If you’re trying to play hardball, then fine, it sends the message accordingly. But, if you want this locker room to get behind you and buy into what you’re preaching, you have to show a little more faith than that.

Pulling all five starters at that point is giving up, not sending a message. That isn’t the way to get the team on your side. The way I see it, there was plenty of time for the Bulls to turn it around. This is professional sports we’re talking about. A 23-point deficit in 21 minutes of play is not out of the realm of possibilities.

Next. Bulls: Potential trade packages for Bradley Beal. dark

Boylen says the Bulls have a long way to go, but he is no where near a finished product, either.