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Boylen's 'Magic' solution?

Byline: Mike McGraw mmcgraw@dailyherald.com

Bulls coach Jim Boylen is trying to utilize the Magic Johnson approach to improving guard Shaq Harrison's scoring skills.

Harrison has made an impact with the Bulls defensively. He ranks a close second to Russell Westbrook in steals per minute played.

But while his offense has improved slightly, it's still a weakness. He went 0-for-7 from the field in Sunday's loss to Brooklyn.

"That's one of our development segments in practice. We call it 'finishing school,'" Boylen said Tuesday at the Advocate Center. "We do the Michigan State Daily Dozen, which (coach) Jud Heathcote did 30 years ago with Magic and those guys. I was there for it.

"So we do the Daily Dozen and it's finishing through contact, the ability to play through contact, keep your eyes on the rim and you've just got to work on it, grind it out."

OK, but Boylen was still in high school in East Grand Rapids, Mich., when Johnson played for MSU. He did get his first job in coaching with Heathcote in 1987.

"I used to rebound for Magic Johnson, in the summers, when he came back," Boylen said. "Jud would say, 'Meet Magic over there at 5 o'clock and rebound for him.' I'd go rebound for him.

"He still did the Daily Dozen. Still did it. Stuck with him. That's 12 different finishes."

Wins vs. potential:

The Bulls will hit the halfway point in their season with Game No. 41 in Portland on Wednesday. They've shown some potential with their young players, but are on pace for just 20 wins.

That may not be a bad thing, depending on how the draft lottery turns out. But it is frustrating for those involved.

"Obviously, we have a lot of talent in our building," Bobby Portis said Tuesday. "We have a lot of core guys who are here. We have a lot of guys who can play basketball. Injuries are something we can't control. But if we stay healthy, I think the sky is the limit for us."

Portis' goal for the second half is for the Bulls to stick together as they blend together.

"Last game was one of our first with all our players together," he said. "That's headed in the right direction. Just us playing together well. Us staying together through tough times. Things aren't always going to be great. Fight through those tough times."

Portis endorses Hoiberg:

Former Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told ESPN he's most interested in another job in coaching, whether that's in the NBA or college. He's been mentioned for openings with the Minnesota Timberwolves and UCLA.

"I would love to see Coach Hoiberg get another chance," said Bobby Portis, who was a rookie during Hoiberg's first season with the Bulls.

"I feel like he's a great coach. With me, I never had anything bad to say about Coach Fred," Portis said. "He helped me through and through. He helped my development a ton. He had the utmost confidence in me to do what I do on an nightly basis. I think Coach Hoiberg deserves another shot back in the league and I hope soon."

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Jan 9, 2019
Words:526
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