By: David Kaplan
A Case for Calm
There’s a lot of angst and noise being generated by Bulls fan these days. Hoiball sucks, trade everybody/anybody, we want Thibs back, etc.
Yes, the Bulls have underperformed lately. Yes, the offense lacks rhythm. Yes, Hoiberg’s substitution patterns have occasionally been odd.
Still, there’s a stronger case to remain calm and maintain optimism.
Hoiberg is a huge upgrade over the 2014-15 version of Thibs
We all have short memories. Do you recall these abominations: Thibs micro managing a slow motion offense right out of the 80s? Niko at small forward? Kirk Hinrich, the shooting guard who can’t shoot, seeing significant minutes at that position? Jimmy Butler leading the league in minutes? Pau/Jo starting together? McDermott, Snell, E’Twaun chained to the bench. Rigid lineup substitutions regardless of opponent? Offensive/defensive substitutions not deployed? And, there’s more, but space and time are limited.
Hoiberg’s lineup composition and minute deployment, while certainly not perfect, is an upgrade from Thibs. Jo/Pau rarely see time together. The bench is properly utilized. McDermott is improving. Offensive/defensive substitutions happen. Are there’s still opportunities for improvement? Of course. At least, we are seeing logical combinations like Taj/Pau, Jo/Niko, and specific assignments like the defensively challenged McDermott paired with Taj/Jo and Snell playing with Niko and Pau.
The Offense will improve
In the era of instant gratification, I can understand why Bulls fans are ornery about the offense. It appears out of sync and stats reveal a worse performance than under Thibs.
What’s forgotten is basketball isn’t psychics. It’s an art form. Offensive chemistry takes time. There’s a faster pace, more movement and 3s taken with Hoiberg’s offense. This has the foundation to be a good offense and light years better than Thibs’ slow motion micro managed version.
Hoiberg hasn’t found the right lineup combinations yet. I believe he will get there. He’s experimented with different personnel and even the use of Rose’s minutes are somewhat innovative.
Stay Calm – The Bulls are a good team
Hopefully, with this history lesson and some forward thinking, Bulls fans can calm down. It could be far worse. How do fans feel in Sacramento and Philly? We’re fortunate to have a team that makes the playoffs every year. Let’s enjoy it.