With the MCL sprain sidelining Kris Dunn for 4-6 weeks, and Lauri Markkanen still aways from making his season debut, many thought the Bulls might as well hit the tank button again. The injury to Dunn meant that Cam Payne would be the Bulls starting point guard for the next month. I’ve gone on record stating that Payne is the worst player in the NBA. All and all that still holds true, but last night Fred Hoiberg finally decided to do his job and coach.

It only took three games into the season for the Bulls best player to call out Fred for not doing his job. After dropping to 0-3, Zach Lavine disagreed with Hoiberg’s statement that the Bulls lost their composure, and questioned the sets Hoiberg called in the second half. This is reminiscent of a few seasons back, when the Bulls best player at the time, Jimmy Butler, told the media that Fred needed to coach harder. Unlike before where Butler would simply ignore a play called or timeout request by Fred, Hoiberg and Lavine met the next day to come up with a solution.

For as much as the Bulls horrible defense and turnover issues should be blamed for starting the season 0-3, so should Hoiberg’s coaching. Through the first three games, it seemed that the opposing coach was playing chess, while Hoiberg was playing checkers. Fred simply was not using any type of sound strategy with getting the right group of guys on the floor on the right time, using offensive/defensive lineups, and as Lavine pointed out, making sure the guy with the hot hand continued getting the ball. (Also letting Cam Payne dictate the offense, like I said that guy is the worst.)

But against the Charlotte Hornets, Hoiberg put the ball in the hands of Lavine and Jabari Parker, and let them facilitate the offense. This allowed Payne to spot up off the ball, and what do you know, he played the best game of his entire career, knocking down seven triples. No surprise his best game comes when he isn’t entrusted to orchestrate the offense. Hoiberg needs to continue to let Lavine run the point. Sometimes it’s as simple as just putting the ball in your best players hand and letting them create, similar to how the Houston Rockets ran James Harden at the point.

Hoiberg also finally made offense/defense substitutions against the Hornets, after being criticized for leaving Jabari Parker on the floor for a defensive possession, that essentially cost the Bulls the game against the Dallas Mavericks. Hoiberg made sure not to make that same mistake, getting Parker off the floor for late defensive possessions.

Lavine, who took issue with Hoiberg’s crunch time offensive sets from the previous game, had everything ran through him and took every shot for the Bulls during the last three minutes of the game. Zach has done his job for the Bulls in the first four games this season. He’s dropped 30 points in each game, making him only the 2nd Bulls player to start a season with 30 points through 4 consecutive games (the other player being the GOAT, Michael Jordan). Zach has been doing his job, and I’m glad he finally got Fred to do his. Hopefully, the Bulls can get rolling behind their victory and Hoiberg continues to make good sound coaching decisions.

Do you think Hoiberg continues to alter his game plan accordingly? Or does he fall back into his lackadaisical schemes? Also does Hoiberg show enough to stay on as the coach or is this his last season with Chicago? We’ll see if he can go 2 for two against the Hornets, as the Bulls play in Charlotte on Friday 10/26.

Photo credit: Chicago Bulls Twitter


One Comment

  1. Tierney Sneakz

    October 25, 2018 at 3:03 PM

    Awesome! Great perspective! Keep them coming! Via: Tierney Sneakz

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