For the Chicago Bulls as they head into next season, it’s fair to assume that there will be little-to-no turnover from this past season’s roster. Moreover, title expectations surrounding the Bulls will be immense as with season’s past. To some, that may seem a tad bit surprising considering first time NBA head coach Fred Hoiberg will be at the helm. But given his offensive past, and the vast number of scoring options the Bulls contain, visions of a more potent Bulls squad are palatable. However, in order for that to come into fruition, Chicago is going to need help from two of their young wings — Tony Snell and Doug McDermott.
Under former coach Tom Thibodeau, Snell was thrusted into the lineup during his rookie season due to an influx in injuries. This past season, though, he struggled to find consistent minutes throughout. Many will point to inconsistency being Snell’s downfall, but as Blog-a-Bulls’ own Chris Terzic wrote, it was more of a comfortability issue. Snell had his moments last season, but for the most part he just never seemed comfortable in Thibs’ stagnant offense. Rarely, would we see Thibs’ utilize Snell’s talents other than spreading the floor out on the arch or maybe occasional pin-down screen. For a player who’s looking for his rhythm and flow, it’s hard to do so when there’s no beat.
As for McDermott, his story is quite different than that of Snell. The highly coveted first round pick in the 2014 draft had high expectations heading into his rookie season. After beginning in Thibs’ rotation, McDermott’s play began to dwindle and a meniscus tear ultimately all but ended his rookie campaign. When healthy and in the lineup, Thibs’ attempted to utilize McDermott much in the same way he did former Bull Kyle Korver; numerous pin-downs and double screens etc. But as with Snell, it was apparent that he couldn’t quite find his rhythm within Thibs’ offense, struggling to locate his shot on a consistent basis.
It was plain to see the potential that both Snell and McDermott contained, but frustrating at the same time seeing as Thibs was unable to help them tap into it. But all of that is about to change with Fred Hoiberg taking over, or at least it should. The way in which Hoiberg’s offense is structured, or has been in the past, it is tailor-made for players such as Snell and McDermott. Previously, I went in-depth into Hoiberg’s offense, but the way Hoiberg utilizes shooters, more so the creativity in terms of getting them open looks, this is everything Snell and McDermott could ask for and more.
Ultimately, it’s going to come down to whether or not the duo can take advantage of Hoiberg’s system. One thing is for certain, these two are going to get their chances under Hoiberg, and he’s going to put them in the best possible position to succeed, especially given their respective offensive repertoires and the overall system. I have confidence both can do so, but in the end, the pressure is on their shoulders to capitalize.
Twitter – @Tyler_Pleiss