Improved defense highlights Jim Boylen’s Bulls debut, but they still lose to the Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS – These nights don’t happen much, but it certainly has taken place before in the last two decades in which the Bulls have gone without an NBA Championship.

Three times in that period, the Bulls have debuted a coach after one has been fired. It happened with Tim Floyd in 2001, Bill Cartwright in 2004, and Scott Skiles in 2007, and it was about to happen on Tuesday evening in Indianapolis.

Following the firing of Fred Hoiberg after 24 games in which 19 of them were losses, Jim Boylen took over the reigns of the Bulls as they faced the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Natural intrigue accompanied the mid-week game as fans were interested how a new voice could impact a team that’s still got a while till their healthy and consistently competitive.

One thing fans saw for one night was some improved defense, yet the result ended up being the same as most of the Hoiberg nights on this season. Without Victor Oladipo, the Bulls kept the Pacers under 100 points, something they’d done in just three previous games. Yet their offense didn’t have enough to knock off Indiana as the hosts won it 96-90.

It was the second-lowest point total allowed by the Bulls this season, and they allowed just 43 in the first half. Yet the losing streak continues, reaching seven in Boylen’s opening game.