Bulls had a strong halftime exchange of the loss to Wolves originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
MIAMI – Sunday’s blowout loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, in which the Chicago Bulls allowed 150 points in regulation for the first time in 40 years, showed players putting in strong exchanges at halftime, sources said, expressing collective frustrations.
The incident caught the attention of the coaching staff, although coach Billy Donovan said he was not made aware of it until afterwards.
“I wasn’t in there. I had heard the same as you (reporters). But we were in our coaches’ room so I was unaware of everything that was said. But I heard there was a confrontation, which I think is healthy for me personally,” Donovan said ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Miami Heat. “I think that should continue. What was said, I have no idea.”
Two sources familiar with the incident said some of the frustration was directed at Zach LaVine, if not directly by name, then at least from defensive breakdowns he was involved in.
A team source indicated that the strong words were more collectively focused — as in “we need to get better.”
After Sunday’s game, LaVine said he is one of the voices in the locker room trying to lead the Bulls out of their current mess, which saw seven losses in nine games on Monday night.
“Guys here are talking. We’re trying to be leaders in our own way, but we have to find a way to make it happen,” LaVine said Sunday. “I mean, shoot, it’s not like we’re not trying. We’re going to talk a lot here. We just need to stop talking and get out there and do it. We do it inconsistently, or consistently for a play or two, but then don’t do it again.
It’s frustrating. It’s frustrating for all of us. I know it’s frustrating for the fans. back and fight back.”
When asked how he sees the state of the locker room right now, Donovan said any frustration comes from a place of concern.
“I think our chemistry in terms of boy relationships and guys liking each other is really, really good. I think they all have very, very good relationships. When we’re traveling or with each other, during shootarounds and stuff, people communicate, there’s communication. I think people really like each other,” Donovan said.
“But I think it’s a very different situation when you step between the lines and have to be able to rely on each other. And I think part of it is they point each other out where they need help, where they need guys. And I think the responsibility internally, in terms of players, is a good thing.
“We all need to understand its importance. And I said this after the (Sunday) game, everyone’s work is really hard. And you have to help each other to do your work at a very high level. And I don’t know anyone who has been good at anything without the help of others. And we all need help from each other. And that’s where we have to go. And I think part of that frustration was probably guys not helping or being in position or rotating almost as much as it took to help each other. And we have to be better there.”
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