It's always a good idea for teams to set goals for themselves throughout the season. Usually, it has to with winning a certain amount of games.
But for the young Chicago Bulls, their head coach Jim Boylen decided to take a different approach. In an effort to instill a pass-oriented offense, he set a goal for his team earlier this season to average at least 35 assists per game. According to him, that number was not just pulled out of thin air.
"I watched the films," Boylen said. "I see the open shots we miss. I see the assists we have. I didn't pull this number out of the air. This is something I think we can do. I think it's attainable. I think it's a statement to how we want to play. If we don't get 35 assists and we get 30, that's still pretty good."
The problem? That number would be way above the league record, which is currently held by the 1985 Lakers at 31.4 per game.
The Bulls are handing out 23.1 assists per game, which is 24th in the league, and their rather meager assist percentage doesn't sit near the top. 35 is the magic number of Boylen, yet in a big chunk of their games, the Bulls haven’t even registered 35 made field goals.
Boylen was named head coach almost immediately after the firing of Fred Hoiberg. Since he has taken control, things haven't exactly been pretty. There was a player strike early in his tenure due to guys feeling overworked by Boylen and his old-school style of coaching.
On the court, the Bulls have yet to put together a solid stretch of basketball and remain one of the East's most troubled organizations.
Before they focus on trying to average 35 assists per game, perhaps they should worry about winning at least 35 games.