Bernstein: The Annotated Jim Boylen, Part II

(670 The Score) We're doing this again because we have to, and I'm certain this won't be the last time this season that we're compelled to figure out what Bulls coach Jim Boylen is talking about after a bewildering loss.
This setback was by a 109-106 margin to the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Monday night, and just as we did after the Bulls blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead against the Lakers at home on Nov. 5, let's analyze some postgame comments regarding their similar squandering of a 26-point advantage.
"I thought they made shots over us," Boylen said when asked about how Chris Paul was able to shake free for five 3-pointers in the final quarter. "He made a couple threes over the top of us. You gotta live with those. He didn't get to the rim, he didn't get in the paint."

Because he wasn't trying to, Jim. Paul saw that you were switching the high ball screen every time down, even as he kept pouring in shots. As soon as Wendell Carter Jr. or Lauri Markkanen traded assignments with Kris Dunn, Paul was creating space with the intention of making a move to get the bigger, slower defender on his heels before shooting over him. He didn't get in the paint because he wanted the shot that is worth three points, not the one worth two. And you kept letting him do it, instead of having Dunn fight over the screen and/or using another defender to trap the ball out of his hands and force someone other than a future Hall of Famer to make a big shot.

And what about the head-scratching decision to remove Carter in favor of Coby White from the game with Steven Adams -- a career 55.1% free-throw shooter -- at the foul line with 4.3 seconds left? As color analyst Stacey King predicted might happen on the television broadcast, taking out an active big allowed the Thunder to corral an offensive rebound after a miss that essentially sealed the Bulls' fate.

"We needed speed on the floor," Boylen said. "We didn't have a timeout, we needed speed and we had to get the ball down the floor. He banks the first one in, and now we gotta get something going to the rim, we have no timeout, and that's what I wanted to do."

You had no timeout because YOU CALLED ALL OF THEM ALREADY, including one with 33 seconds left in the third quarter that left the Bulls with just two to start the fourth. So an inability or unwillingness to budget those critical resources correctly necessitated -- in Boylen's mind -- a less-than-ideal opportunity to get that decisive rebound. This is awfully difficult to reconcile, the thought that one mistake begat another.

What's more, Boylen seemed to presume the defensive rebound by inserting White to bring the theoretical ball down the floor. Problem was, the actual ball ended up back in Adams' hands largely because of the size advantage. There's no use for White's speed on the offensive end without having, you know ... the ball. And even if the Bulls had come down with it, playing out that last couple of seconds immediately upon possession would still have likely produced little more than the harmless Zach LaVine heave that ultimately ended the game. The Bulls had no way to advance the ball without a timeout.

"We're learning, we're growing and I was proud of how we played," Boylen said. "We made mistakes. That happens."

Yes, it does.

Dan Bernstein is a co-host of 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show in midday. You can follow him on Twitter @Dan_Bernstein.