Jim Boylan is hoping that his first game as Chicago's interim coach is a sign of things to come.
Boylan looks to build on his first win as an NBA head coach on Sunday when the Bulls visit the New York Knicks.
Boylan was named interim coach of the Bulls (10-17) on Thursday after Scott Skiles was fired on Monday. Before Boylan got the job, assistant Pete Myers coached Chicago in its 94-79 loss at San Antonio on Wednesday.
Boylan, however, managed to lead the Bulls to their first win in four games, a 103-99 victory over Milwaukee on Friday.
"It's funny being out there. I coached the team in the summer, but obviously it's quite different," Boylan said. "It was an emotional thing. My family is here."
Boylan immediately put his stamp on the team, asking Ben Gordon, the NBA Sixth Man of the Year, to give up his spot in the starting lineup. Gordon agreed and scored 19 of his team-high 31 points in the fourth quarter.
"I didn't want to make any predictions before the game, but I thought he would (respond) because that is the kind of guy Ben is. He told me he would do it, that I could count on him," Boylan said. "He came through. I have to applaud him for accepting this role."
Gordon made 10 off 11 free throws in the final period.
"I took me a while to kind of get warm but after a few trips up and down I found my groove," he said. "It worked for us and hopefully it will continue to work in the future."
Even though he won his debut, Boylan still has plenty of work to do. The Bulls are in the basement of the Central Division and have lost three of four on the road, where they are just 4-10.
"We have to realize that we won the game but there are still things we didn't do so well," Gordon said. "We have to take the attitude of having to get better everyday."
A game against the struggling Knicks (8-20), who have lost three straight and own the second-worst record in the Eastern Conference, could help Chicago continue to get its season back on track.
Knicks coach Isiah Thomas also made some changes to his lineup on Wednesday in hopes of sparking his team, starting David Lee ahead of Zach Randolph and Jared Jeffries in place of Fred Jones. Lee had 11 points and 14 rebounds but Jeffries had just five points and the Knicks lost 110-96 in Orlando.
"We had 36 good minutes, but the last 12 just got away from us," said Jamal Crawford, who had 29 points. "We defended well, shot the ball well, but it just got away from us at the end."
Randolph had 22 points off the bench, but starting center Eddy Curry played less than five minutes and finished with only two points.
"It's extremely tough to sit that long," Curry said. "I'm not used to that at all and I hope it doesn't continue. I just think at some point I'm going to have to be out there for us to win the game."
The Knicks have dropped 10 of 13 against the Bulls but have won the last two meetings at Madison Square Garden.
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