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#pounditWednesday, September 23, 2020

Jim Boylen had ridiculous response to Lauri Markkanen’s concerns about touches

Jim Boylen

Jim Boylen isn’t exactly known as a player’s coach, and one Chicago Bull helped to further illustrate that this week.

In an interview with Finnish podcast “Urheilucast,” Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen said that Boylen had a baffling response to concerns that he expressed this season about getting enough touches.

“I had 80 touches per game the past two seasons, this season the touches dropped to 40,” said Markkanen, as translated by Josh Jeffares of On Tap Sports Net. “Don’t get me wrong, I had some plays drawn with me in mind, but it’s just different.

“When I spoke with Jim [Boylen], we talked about how I should concentrate on getting rebounds and then leading the fast break,” Markkanen went on. “But it’s just really hard getting 40 defensive rebounds.”

While Markkanen is a fairly mediocre rebounder for a seven-footer, he is also a very talented offensive player who saw his averages dip from 18.7 points on 15.3 shots per game last season to 14.7 on 11.8 per game this season. The Bulls were also a miserable 28th in team rebounding this season, so there was likely a greater issue with Boylen’s gameplan beyond just Markkanen’s efforts.

The 23-year-old did also say in the interview that he wanted to stay in Chicago and sign an extension with the Bulls. But Markkanen was reportedly unhappy with the direction of the team this season, and now we may know at least part of what was fueling his discontent.

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