On several occasions since the Bulls acquired Otto Porter Jr. from the Wizards, coach Jim Boylen has praised the veteran for helping spread his message to the young team.

When you get buy-in from a player who has been in the league and the playoffs, Boylen has said, it’s contagious.


Porter said he’s just passing it on, following leads he saw when he first came in the league with the Wizards.

“I was able to understand what he wants and once the guys started seeing me follow that, it helped us,” Porter said. “I think it just helps young guys understand what it takes, how much hard work you have to put into it to prepare.”

Home cooking: When they lost to the 76ers on Saturday, the Bulls tied a franchise record with their 31st home defeat. Boylen said improving that mark is a priority for next season.

“You want to win your home games and be .500 on the road. That’s kind of the formula in the NBA for a successful season,” Boylen said. “We need to win more home games. If we would win 25 home games next year, that’s 16 more wins. We’d be at 38-42, which is what I think Miami is right now trying to get in. Those are just words. We gotta put the effort, the toughness, the work, the grit into that next year.”

Time to reflect: Before his last home game, Boylen pondered a question about what he will remember most from his first season as head coach.

“How hard change is on people,” Boylen said. “Everything rises and falls on leadership at this level, and that’s what the best coaches do. That’s what I’m trying to do. Lead this team. And I’m going to continue to do that. That’s what you learn.

“We all know the basketball. We all know basically what the other people are doing. There aren’t a lot of secrets. It’s can you get your team to understand what you want, to compete, to play hard? Can you develop a style of play that fits the men you have? To me that’s the leadership part. The great coaches are dynamic leaders, and that’s what I hope to be.’’

Layups: Denzel Valentine said he’ll visit a doctor next week to set up the final stages of his rehabilitation from reconstructive left ankle surgery and hopes to be cleared for basketball activities in late May or early June. … The Bulls used their 27th different lineup, a franchise record.

Twitter @kcjhoop

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