The Chicago Bulls, at 22-43, sit as the 11 seed in the East as the NBA ramps up to return, but will the Bulls play another game? In some of the scenarios being floated, 11th would be good enough to get Chicago invited to Orlando for a play-in tournament and a chance to get into the playoffs. In other scenarios the Bulls’ season is done.
Chicago coach Jim Boylen may need that chance — and a good run — to keep his job. Reports have floated for a while Boylen was on shaky ground after some key players ripped their coach Arturas Karnisovas, the new head of basketball operations, and general manager Marc Eversley. A good showing in the NBA’s restart could be how Boylen saves his job, reports Joe Cowley at the Chicago Sun-Times.
So what could save Boylen? A Hail Mary.
His best chance would be if the NBA decided on a leaguewide play-in tournament, and the Bulls actually got hot and made a deep, unexpected run. But considering the team’s .317 winning percentage under Boylen, the likelihood of that happening is tiny.
The other thing that could save Boylen is the fact owner Jerry Reinsdorf and outgoing team president John Paxson (now a consultant) love Boylen’s old-school, hard-nosed ways (even if the players’ don’t). While Michael Reinsdorf — Jerry’s son and the guy running the Bulls now — has given Karnisovas and company free range to make a change, it’s possible in these uncharted waters the new front office decides to wait. To give Boylen the chance he wants.
Probably not, however. Most likely, the Bulls will have a new coach next season.