After multiple reports of Chicago Bulls Head Coach Fred Hoiberg being on the “Hot Seat” the Bulls did not come out playing hard for their leader. Paul George and the Indiana Pacers came storming out of the gates scoring seven straight points to start the game, while the Bulls committed costly turnovers that hurt themselves early. Despite the slow start, the Bulls saw themselves only down 6 at the end of the first frame.
Doug McDermott was the only thing keeping the Bulls alive on offense in the first half, shooting 4-of-5 from the field including 2-0f-2 from three. McDermott logged 10 points in the first half, but failed to take even one shot in his 15 minutes of second half action. For an offensive minded player who spaces the floor and gives the only real threat to knock down outside shots–this is unacceptable. Time and time again this team has failed to get Doug open looks, which is something that needs to be addressed. McDermott was having a fantastic game Friday afternoon, but was invisible in the second half.
Robin Lopez only logged 19 minutes as he saw the majority of his minutes go to Cristiano Felicio, who nabbed his first career Double-Double with 12 points and 12 rebounds in 22 minutes. Hoiberg hasn’t looked back after putting Felicio ahead of Bobby Portis in the rotation. The Brazilian big man looks to be one of the few bright spots on this “younger and more athletic” bench.
Thirty-three games in, it appears that Fred Hoiberg has lost faith in his point guard–Rajon Rondo. The 11 year vet out of Kentucky played 11 total minutes, and was glued to the bench in the second half as Michael Carter-Williams took over running the team. Rondo didn’t seem surprised that he was benched during his post game presser, but it appears that he’s wearing out his stay here. Carter-Williams provided a good spark in 27 minutes, scoring 12 points while grabbing 8 rebounds while Jerian Grant was the only other point guard to see action in the second half contributing 2 points in only 8 minutes.
Inconsistent Nikola Mirotic showed up this afternoon, shooting 3-0f-14 including 2-for-11 from the 3 point line. Mirotic had 2 big threes towards the end of the game, but his 11 misses really hurt the Bulls, who struggled to score late.
Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade pitched in a combined 45 points, which wasn’t enough to overcome Paul George, Myles Turner, and Thaddeus Young’s 64 points in this 111-101 loss.
As inconsistent as the Bulls bench has been, they outscored the Pacers bench 44-22 which would normally be enough to pull out the W, but the starters simply didn’t have it today.
This team continues to struggle on a nightly basis and currently sits in the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference, they are tied with Jason Kidd and the Milwaukee Bucks, who will face off against the Bulls Saturday night. The second night of a back-to-back won’t be an easy task versus the young and upcoming Bucks, but if the rumor mill is correct and Fred Hoiberg’s seat is getting hot, he’d better have his club ready to play.