After the Chicago Bulls got shellacked against the improving New York Knicks, (14-14) 107-91, the other night, a tired and frustrated Jimmy Butler pointed to his head coach for some of the team’s woes.
Responding to a question from a reporter after the game, Butler did not believe a shake-up in teams’ roster was needed. But he did say:
“I believe probably we have to be coached a lot harder,” Butler said. ‘You gotta get on guys, including me. You gotta do what you are supposed to do.”
That comment would never be said during the Tom Thibodeau regime. Thibs ran a tight ship. So tight, one could feel the pressure of the clamped down environment akin to steam seeping through a teapot.
Now, at 15-10, the Bulls look vulnerable. Their offense is not that effective. New coach Fred Hoiberg, cited as a coach who ran a pro-system in college at Iowa State, was brought in to make the Bulls more offensive minded. But lately, that hasn’t happened. Teams know that if they can slow down Butler or Rose, the Bulls are much less effective.
Joakim Noah started in place of Pau Gasol, who did not make the trip to NYC. Butler played over 50 minutes in the loss to the Pistons. The team got into NYC at 4 am. They did not have much sleep. It showed. The Knicks, scored from all points on the court and made Carmelo Anthony look dangerous again. Anthony has had his shooting woes. Some nights he goes 7-20, 8-21, and other nights, 12-21.
He is kind of like D-Rose, on any given night, you don’t know what you are going to get. Rose, is playing through an orbital bone injury and looks like his vision is better. One has to hope that nothing else breaks.
Butler’s words may reverberate back in Chicago. They may not.
But they were said. And it speaks to a star players’s frustration with how the team is run by the coach. Butler just scored 43 points vs. the Pistons. He looked exhausted vs. the Knicks.
The bright spots in the game were the 21 points from Joakim Noah, who made his first start of the season. Bobby Portis came off the bench and put up 20 points and 11 rebounds in his best effort of he season. Portis can play, expect to see more of him.