Even while injured, Rajon Rondo managed to get fined during Game 3 of the first round series between the Chicago Bulls and the Boston Celtics for attempting to rip Jae Crowder during live action. While Fred Hoiberg at least waited until after Game 4, the head coach of the Bulls might have found himself in some hot water with the league after a rant concerning the officiating and its impact on Boston point guard Isaiah Thomas.
Hoiberg’s assertion that Thomas is “impossible to guard” because of the officiating is an aggressive one, especially because Thomas was fantastic throughout the season. It should be noted that Hoiberg did praise the diminutive guard before engaging about the officiating but, in the same breath, the big takeaway was the comments concerning the way he has been officiated.
In fact, the assembled media indicated that it was the most riled up that Hoiberg has been since arriving in Chicago before the 2015-2016 season.
Dwyane Wade, though, did not take the bait.
Thomas finished the game with 33 points (despite shooting only 1-for-9 from three) and it is easy to see why Hoiberg would be frustrated with the inability to stop Boston’s best offensive player. However, Thomas did not exactly align with Hoiberg’s assessment of what makes him so difficult to defend.
From Hoiberg’s standpoint, this isn’t the type of thing that you can get away with in a playoff setting with the eyes of the entire basketball world on each and every move. It will be (very) interesting to see if anything changes with regard to Thomas and his dribbling style in Game 5 and beyond but, at this point, it would be a shock to see a drastic alteration and the Bulls will have to adjust to avoid blowing a 2-0 lead in the series.