Anion Sports Holiday Blog 2018 Day 3
The Chicago Bulls fired head coach Fred Hoiberg today. The move comes in the midst of a horrendous 5-19 start to the season. Now I'm not here to just bash Hoiberg. The Bulls have dealt with a litany of injuries amidst the losing marred stretch. Lauri Markkanen just made his season debut last game and the team is still without PG Kris Dunn, PF Bobby Portis and SF Denzel Valentine.
Zach LaVine has been a bright spot all year. Although his efficiency has waned in recent weeks, he is still averaging career highs in points, rebounds and assists with 25 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 4.7 ast. His job has gotten progressively harder as the season has gone on due to defenses adjusting to him and giving him different looks. But nonetheless, I have been impressed with his individual output.
The team cited a lack of energy and passion amongst the locker room as reasons for Hoiberg's dismissal as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
"It wouldn’t have been based on if we’d gotten guys back and gone on a winning streak. That’s not what it was about,” Bulls executive John Paxson said. “It was about what we were seeing internally and the vibe and the energy that was in this building.”
For me, I'm still struggling to figure out why this happened now. Pointing to a lack of locker room cohesion is something that didn't just magically surface 24 games into the 2018 season. These problems have persisted throughout his entire tenure so to relieve him now puzzles me. I think after 3+ years, the front office could have let him finish the year off to see how he would coach with a healthy roster. At the very least he would be aiding the Bulls in losing more to get a higher draft pick.
I think the Bulls' trajectory has not changed over the course of the season and they should still be on track for a top 5 draft pick by the end of the season.
So with that, I ask y'all? If the Bulls end up with the number one pick, who would you want them to take?