SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Tuesday will be an anniversary of sorts.
It all comes down to perspective.
Last Dec. 3, the Bulls' front office made a coaching change, firing Fred Hoiberg and promoting assistant Jim Boylen without attaching an interim tag. After the 2018-19 season, the Bulls gave Boylen a contract extension.
A year later, Boylen, whose Bulls came up with a 113-106 victory Monday against the Kings, is without question one of the more polarizing coaches in franchise history.
"I don't know if it feels like a year,'' Boylen said. "It was such an intensive 58-game situation [last season], and then the busy summer. The season starts, and you're kind of in the thick of it. All I can say is, I'm really enjoying it. I like this group of guys. I like the way we work. I like the way we practice. And I just really feel comfortable coaching these guys.''
Boylen has changed the way the team plays from an X's and O's standpoint and is the first coach since Tom Thibodeau to have some input with personnel decisions.
"[This season] feels different for a lot of reasons,'' Boylen said. "I have a relationship now as a head coach with the group, through a training camp and the first 20 games. Last year, I went from an assistant coach to the head coach. It's a different vibe, a different feel. I'm enjoying it. I love the teaching part. I love the competitive part.
"Are we frustrated that our record's not better? Of course, we are. But I gauge it on these guys working and caring. That's what we have to do to break out.''
But Boylen's record, among other things, is a sticking point with his critics.
During his first season, Boylen went 17-41, but that initial foray came with a built-in pass. He had to change the culture after Hoiberg, as well as a country-club mentality in the locker room, which led to a two-player mutiny that was quickly quashed.
That boot-camp mentality and old-school style of play didn't sit well with some of the fan base, especially the analytics-driven bloggers.
This season was supposed to be different. The offseason roster moves were considered positive from a role-player standpoint, and the assistant-coaching staff got an upgrade. Boylen also incorporated an up-tempo, shoot-from-three-and-ask-questions-later style of play that showed promise in the preseason.
But after the lights came on for the regular season, the Bulls have been a disaster, going 7-14 to give Boylen a 24-55 overall record.
"Yeah, there have been a lot [of ups and downs],'' said Zach LaVine, who scored a game-high 28 points. ''I'm just glad to get back on that winning [track]. . . . We need to get it going before it's too late.''
That winning process will be helped along greatly if LaVine and Lauri Markkanen can duplicate what they did Monday. For the first time this season, they each scored at least 20 points.
"It's long overdue [for Markkanen, who scored 20],'' LaVine said. "We're still encouraging him. He had a great game. He needs to play that way all the time. He's capable of it.''