There are going to be a lot of different and new things about the Chicago Bulls in the Fred Hoiberg regime compared to the Tom Thibodeau era. One of them, and maybe the most significant one, will be the amount of 3-pointers this team shoots.
The Bulls, despite the perception of a limited offense that’s playing things a little bit too old school, were right in the middle of the 3-point shooting charts last season. They were 15th in 3-points made (7.9) and 16th in attempts (22.3), while ranking 10th in accuracy. That’s not as good as the Golden State Warriors (1st in accuracy with 39.8%, second in amount) or the Cleveland Cavaliers (5th and 4th respectively) but not too terrible.
However, under Hoiberg, who believes in a much more free flowing offense than what we’ve come to get used to from Chicago over the last five seasons, things have been looking different in the postseason. The Bulls are averaging over 33 three-point attempts per game. All this without a major change in the roster. This is basically the same team, only with a very different intent and way of getting points.
This might mean a much bigger role for both Doug McDermott and Tony Snell. More importantly, it could mean a lot less of two-big lineups, especially if Joakim Noah continues to be a black hole on offense. Pau Gasol isn’t as good defensively as Noah, but his skills fit a team that’s looking to run the ball and move it around quickly a lot more. Nikola Mirotic suddenly becomes a lot more important, but we’re still finding out game by game and bit by bit what Hoiberg’s grand plan is.
Despite being a rookie head coach, he’s stepping into a very tense situation, with plenty of expectations. Just like Steve Kerr last season, he’s getting a team that’s quite familiar with all of its parts and is expected to take care of what didn’t work under the successful, but not enough, previous head coach.
The biggest problem for Hoiberg? The Derrick Rose injury factor, and the existence of LeBron James, a player who has been to five consecutive NBA Finals, and hasn’t lost a series in the Eastern conference since 2010. Maybe a complete overhaul of the Bulls’ offense, even it results in significant growing pains, is the way to go.