The Chicago Bulls seem to be gasping for offense to open up the paint for Jimmy Butler to drive and Doug McDermott to post up. When teammates are injured, why not play Paul Zipser as the wing who can defend and shoot?
The Bulls seemed short-changed on offense all the time. During December it was Butler hogging 29 shots to score 40. Come January, players catch the flu and Jimmy and Nikola Mirotic are down. Fred Hoiberg has been riding the starters too hard and should be pressed to bring the younger team up to speed as reliable subs.
Aside from Denzel Valentine, who can shoot the lights out as well as Doug from beyond the arc, one player has caught my eye after seeing his game in the D-League: Paul Zipser.
If the Hoiberg is smart, the team will use Zipser with Bobby Portis and Valentine as the second unit shooters and start both McDermott and Mirotic.
Check the video and see Zipser as deceptively strong driving to the hoop and overpower smaller defenders. Zipser is strong rim diving or even defending them on the opposite side and blocking their shot from behind. His minutes may come once the Bulls decide to move Taj Gibson and let Cristiano Felicio roam full time at the power forward spot along with Portis.
In the Washington Wizards game, Hoiberg again made the wrong call his best players were McDermott and Valentine, yet he had Michael Carter-Williams run an ISO-one-on-one drive that was awkward and resulted in a missed opportunity.
Hoiberg is always amiss with plays in the last two minutes by not choosing Doug or even Denzel when his veteran starters are not available that it really looks bad for him when he can’t even choose the right person to make the winning shot.
Zipser would have overpowered his assigned man and scored with a foul to boot. It looks like analytics and film are not enough help since the toolbox of the Bulls is just being mishandled. When the Bulls could have Zipser driving to the hoop, just like Bradley Beal was overpowering his own defenders to score at will all game long.
Rajon Rondo is also being given a bad rap because the team is just being coached badly. No Doug sets at all at the low post where he would have demolished the Wizards and be set up by Rondo.
Fans should give Hoiberg until February to show that he can coach whatever team Gar Forman and John Paxson put together for a playoff run by moving Gibson or any other player. If Fred can make the second round, all is forgiven. But from the looks of things, he can’t even find the right guys to play on his roster and that is unforgivable. Can’t be a players coach in the NBA if you don’t even know your players.