2015 NBA Betting: Fred Hoiberg to Coach the Chicago Bulls

Posted by Alex Murphy on June 13, 2015 in

When the Chicago Bulls unceremoniously dumped head coach Tom Thibodeau – to the point where they asked security personnel to escort him from the building – they set their fans and the league talking. It looks like the Bulls made the right decision for NBA betting fans, though, even though they went about it in a hamfisted way.

Why? Because they now have Fred Hoiberg. It’s true that he has never coached in the NBA in any capacity – which has many Bulls fans wondering whether he will do anything meaningful with the team. In fact, the simple truth that Hoiberg is heading to Chicago after coaching the Iowa State Cyclones has many cautious. After all, Tim Floyd did the same thing, heading to Chicago from Iowa State. Floyd came in right after the end of the Phil Jackson-Michael Jordan dynasty had been taken apart, and between 1999 and 2004, Floyd coached the squad to a horrific 49-190 record.

2015 NBA Betting: Fred Hoiberg to Coach the Chicago Bulls



For those who are worried, though, that similarity is where any connection between these two coaches ends. Here are some reasons why Bulls fans should be excited about the Hoiberg era.

The Bulls have some serious talent. The only team to give the Cleveland Cavaliers significant problems during the Eastern Conference playoffs this year was the Chicago Bulls. Jimmy Butler is coming along, and Nikola Mirotic has started to show his value. Doug McDermott is only beginning to show his promise. The team already has established stars in former Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah, two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol, and former Most Valuable Player Derrick Rose. Add these players to Tony Snell, Aaron Brooks, Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson and E’Tuwan Moore, and you have a terrific first-year roster for Hoiberg to guide.

Hoiberg has more NBA experience than you think. He played in the Association for a decade, and he worked for the Timberwolves in management for four years. He knows that the NBA is all about the players – just like the other leagues in professional sports. A coach’s job in this day and age is to facilitate success and contentment for the players on his roster. A player who can do that has job security. If you look at Steve Kerr’s experience in Golden State this year, you have a very similar career arc – except that Hoiberg also has college coaching experience.

How about the defense? It’s true that Tom Thibodeau established a signature defensive philosophy that has become an important part of the Bulls’ identity. Hoiberg has gained a reputation for offensive prowess at ISU, and some are worried that the Bulls will become a run-and-gun team that can’t get stops. However, that shouldn’t be a problem. For one thing, Hoiberg has already said that he wants a veteran assistant coach to work with him, and Adrian Griffin, one of Thibodeau’s assistants, would be a great choice. Also, the defense is more a factor of the personnel than the system, and the players who made the Bulls’ defense such a house of horrors for opponents are all still around. Finally, Hoiberg’s Iowa State team in 2014 ranked #71 out of 351 teams, meaning they were in the top 20 percent. If anything, this team should be more balanced between scoring and defending.

Get ready for analytics. Thibodeau prided himself on being an “old school” coach who hated the idea of advanced statistics. Hoiberg, in contrast, uses these numbers all the time. Basketball is not the only sport in which analytics are becoming a more important part of both coaching and management from the front office. This means that this move should be a sign of great things to come for the franchise.

YahooSports.com: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/players/4912/
ESPN.com: http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/285/adrian-griffin