The Jim Boylen Era for the Bulls is well under at the Advocate Center.
1. Run Forest, Run
The marathon practices continue under new coach Jim Boylen’s watch. And “marathon” doesn’t just describe the lengthy sessions spent in the film room and on the court at the Advocate Center, but the literal sense as well.
“We’re doing a lot of running,” said Ryan Arcidiacono after Thursday’s practice. “We’ve really gotten after each other. We’ve really played hard together, worked on the little things. We’re doing a lot of running, though. We’re getting up and down the floor.
"I can’t emphasize enough. We’re doing a lot of running. I think we’ll be getting in better shape.”
Following the Bulls loss to Indiana, Boylen said he was disappointed in the teams conditioning and that it would change. Sounds like he’s not wasting any time.
2. The gang’s all back
Well… just about. For second straight day Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis went through full contact, full practice and according to Boylen there is a possibility they play against Oklahoma City on Friday at the United Center. He claimed Kris Dunn showed some flashes of who he could be.
And according to Arcidiacono, “the energy and the vibes have been great and just they bring a competitive nature to practice on a daily basis. Kris is always talking his smack. Bobby is competitive. They always want to win.”
Sure, they’ll be rusty, but wouldn’t it be nice for the Bulls' new man at the helm to have a few more bodies to run out against OKC.
Denzel Valentine was also spotted on the far side of the court talking to Dunn and Portis. Valentine’s left ankle was heavily wrapped and supported in a steerable knee walker.
3. Familiar Faces
Horace Grant and Doug Collins were roaming around the courts and chatting it up with players and coaches Thursday afternoon. Grant spent most of his time laughing and chumming it up with players while Collins sat for quite a while with Boylen.
When asked what those conversations were about Boylen said he’d like to keep that private, but did offer up this: “I want all the advice and the help I can get to put in what I want to do. So coach Collins is a – first of all, Bulls across his chest means a ton. He's got everything. He's won, he's lost, he's played in the playoffs, he's played. He's got a perspective, 45 years in this business, every situation. Not to get into it, but how it usually works is I ask him three or four things and kind of set the table for him on things I want to learn or know about or get another opinion on. Then he's good at giving it back to me.”
4. Moving Out
While the Bulls were on the floor practicing Thursday, long time team fixture and assistant Randy Brown returned to the front corridor area of the Advocate Center to pick up a few boxes and load them up in his car. Brown resigned Monday after being asked to take a different role with the team.
Certainly a quiet exit for a man who played on the Bulls’ second three-peat teams and spent the last seven years in the organization as an assistant and member of basketball operations.