Chicago Bulls: 3 reasons why David Fizdale is a better HC than Jim Boylen

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. Sound defensive tactics (at least when he was in Memphis)

It’s hard to judge any realistic numbers that Fizdale could produce for his teams as a head coach from his brief tenure with the Knicks. The Knicks roster is just so bad that he didn’t get much of a chance to make an impact on their numbers on either end of the floor. But his stint in just over one season with the Memphis Grizzlies gives more to work off of.

Fizdale made good use of talented two-way stars with the Grizzlies, like point guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol, on defense when he was heading up that team a couple years back.

Meanwhile, Boylen is trying to ploy a weird scheme where he doubles often and leaves a ton of open players on the outside to hit completely clean looks with no hands in their face. That shows in the fact that the Bulls almost rank in the bottom 10 in the NBA in field goal percentage against (46.2). They’re just lucky that opposing teams aren’t making open threes so far this season (32.8 percent allowed from three).

That 2016-17 Grizzlies team did finish up with a record of 43-39 in a very difficult Western Conference. That season was still when the Warriors ruled the West. But that Grizzlies team shared similar qualities to the Knicks under Fizdale this season in terms of slow pace and offensive rating.

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But having actual defensive talent in the mix allowed the Grizzlies to post the seventh best defensive rating (107.1) in the NBA and they ranked third in points allowed per game (100.0). There’s an actual motive behind Fizdale’s up-close-and-personal and switch-heavy defensive scheme. When he has actually good pieces to defend on the perimeter and the wing, his scheme can work well.