The Chicago Bulls have enjoyed a great deal of regular season success over the past five years under head coach Tom Thibodeau. His controversial coaching style saw him as the recipient of 2011 Coach of the Year nba award after tying the NBA record for most wins as a rookie head coach with 62, one that has since been broken by Steve Kerr. With Thibodeau as their general, the Bulls have managed to remain in contention in the East despite major injuries all around, most notably to the likes of Derrick Rose. However, even since an exciting run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, the Bulls haven’t looked quite the same.
Graphic via rantsports
Between the underachieving and consistent tension with the front office, the decision to let Thibodeau go was an easy one for the Bulls management. The 2015-2016 season will represent a fresh start for basketball fans in the Windy City, as the coaching philosophy of newly installed head coach Fred Hoiberg, who last coached at Iowa State, directly contrasts with Thibodeau’s. In other words, when it comes to watching Derrick Rose and company this season, it’s going to be a lot different than in previous years. Hoiberg’s offensive mentality that values up-tempo penetration and spacing will be loads of fun to watch on a nightly basis, especially with returning studs like Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah who all seem to fit the bill.
Hoiberg has already stated how he plans to use the electrifying Derrick Rose and his wings come the start of the season. “If we can get the wings out running, you get that first big running to the rim, and you give Derrick space on the fast break, that’s going to create a lot of opportunities,” Hoiberg says, per Chicago Tribune. The Bulls have always been a terrific defensive squad, with a tough and gritty mentality as their trademark around the league. While the Bulls still have the personnel and depth to maintain this defensive mentality, but their new system will allow them to do something they’ve historically struggled to do – score the basketball.
With a new system, head coach and finally a healthy roster heading into the 2015-2016 campaign, the Bulls are hungry to prove that they’ve returned to true championship contention once again. The Chicago Bulls schedule has them slated for four match-ups against divisional rival Cleveland Cavaliers. Coming off of a finals run that saw them lose at the hands of Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors, the Cavs have a huge target on their back from teams around the East. In order to prove they’re legitimate threats again with a trip to the NBA Finals in mind, Hoiberg is going to have to show they can beat the best teams in the conference throughout the Chicago Bulls schedule. The first match-up comes on opening night on October 27th at the United Center. Both teams will be looking to start their season off on the right foot, while effectively shaking off the offseason rust. Following this, the two heavyweights will tip-off three more times on January 23rd, February 18th and April 9th.
Graphic via bleacherreport