Fred Hoiberg Should Be a Great Fit For The Chicago Bulls


Soon after firing Tom Thibodeau, the Chicago Bulls announced the signing of Fred Hoiberg on Tuesday night according to multiple reports including the New York Post. A contentious relationship that has gone on for several months between the Bulls’ front office and former head coach Thibodeau led to this latest conclusion.

Depending on who you ask, many Bulls fans have different opinions on the firing of Thibodeau, but in all reality it was time for the relationship between him and the Bulls’ front office to end. Now comes the interesting part: Can Hoiberg not only prove he’s ready to coach at the pro level, but will he prove that the front office was justified in making a coaching change? Only time will tell. The Bulls definitely have the roster to remain competitive in what will be an improved Eastern Conference next season.

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The Bulls still have Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, and Nikola Mirotic all under contract next season, and the front office has made it clear that they plan to offer Jimmy Butler a max deal. So for the most part the core of a Bulls team that won 50 games last season and went six games against a Cleveland Cavaliers team that swept everyone else in the East will still be together. How far they go next year will ultimately depend on health and the new system they will be in. The video below shows some of Hoiberg’s offensive concepts.

Another question that comes to mind is can Hoiberg move right into a winning situation with the Bulls and get them to the NBA Finals? On May 12 in an ESPN article written by Michael Wilbon, he highlighted the Bulls tendency to squander huge leads and their constant habit of going through multiple scoring droughts.

One of the most notable collapses by the Bulls in their series against the Cavaliers was in Game 4, a game Chicago lost after having an 11-point lead with three minutes left in the third quarter. The Bulls also suffered an embarrassing defeat to the Charlotte Hornets on March 13, a game where Chicago lost after having a 19-point lead over the Hornets at halftime. This loss was just one of many games that were given away by the Bulls.

If they are going to finally get past LeBron James in the Eastern Conference, then they’ll need offensive structure and an offense that will build consistency. Many of Hoiberg’s offensive schemes along with mulitple reports are hinting that Fred will have a much faster pace to his offense. That would be great for the Bulls.

When they play faster with constant ball movement, their offense has been much more efficient. In the six games the Bulls won in the 2014-2015 Playoffs against the Milwaukee Bucks and Cavaliers, Chicago averaged 26 assists per game, and in their six losses to both teams Chicago averaged just 19 assists per game. Ball movement is definitely critical to their success.

Former head coach Thibodeau had his failures to get the team over the hump in the NBA Playoffs, but he still had a very convincing resume with the Bulls. In five seasons with the team, Thibs became the fastest coach to 100 victories in 2012, got the Bulls to their first Eastern Conference Finals since 1998 and had the highest winning percentage of a Chicago regular season team since Phil Jackson. With that said, Hoiberg has big shoes to fill.

Thibodeau took the Bulls to the playoffs in all of his five years as Bulls head coach. Hoiberg is basically leaving a winning program at Iowa State, where he had a winning percentage of .673 and was 115-56 during his time there.

Hoiberg also brings experience along with him. He was a teammate of such greats as Reggie Miller, Kevin Garnett, and Chris Mullin. Hoiberg was also coached by the NBA Hall of Famer Larry Bird as a member of the Indiana Pacers team that pushed the Bulls to a rare seven-game series in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals.

In 1991, Hoiberg was honored as “Mr. Basketball” for the state of Iowa. He also played for Chicago from 1999 to 2003. In December of 2014, Hoiberg also became the fastest coach to 100 wins at Iowa State, similar to Thibodeau with the Bulls.

“The Mayor” isn’t experienced in the NBA as a coach, but he has experienced success in his career as a leader. He knows what it takes to win, and he has a talented roster to help fulfill his championship aspirations. Hoiberg might just be the best possible choice the Bulls could have made to continue the success the franchise has had in the last five seasons.

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