Jimmy Butler, Fred Hoiberg, and the Chicago Bulls have past the crossroads. And if their public sentiments following a team meeting are any indication, the East’s most confounding team might soon be on its way to proving preseason optimism right.
After Chicago’s loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday night, Butler called out Hoiberg for the rookie coach’s casual approach to discipline. As the Bulls’ best player told it, his team has been failing to execute game plans and play with consistent effort all season long – yet hasn’t been chastised by the coaching staff in a manner that leads to effective change.
Butler’s comments are certainly understandable. Chicago’s play over the first two months of 2015-16 has been wildly uneven despite a solid 15-10 record, and certainly not indicative of its enviable talent level.
Growing pains were inevitable for the Bulls as they adjusted to a new coach and playing style, of course, but the attribute that plagued them most over the past couple years – a lack of ceaseless fire and engagement – was supposed to be gone. That just hasn’t been the case after 25 games games, however, and Butler believes Hoiberg’s laid-back demeanor has something to do with it.