Despite scoring a career-high 36 points against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden, Jimmy Butler was extremely unhappy. With the Bulls in the midst of a three-game losing streak, Butler was angry with his coach for ignoring his plea to stay in the game.
“I told Fred not to take me out at the beginning of the fourth,” Butler said. “I wanted to play because that’s when we give up those leads, at the beginning of the fourth. Nothing against my teammates, but I think if I’m out there and I get their energy going the right way, now take me out and let me rest. But the energy’s going, the energy’s flowing. I think I got to start playing at the beginning of the fourth quarter.” Hoiberg disregarded it to give his franchise cornerstone some rest, and Boston immediately went on a 12-2 run to open the quarter.
Fourth quarters have not been kind to the Bulls recently, as they have allowed their opponents to score 30+ points in the final period in each of their past three losses. Chicago’s loss at Boston wasn’t as painful as their blown 16-point fourth quarter lead against the Phoenix Suns, but it’s never good when a team’s star player turns to the media to criticize the coach.
The hiring of Fred Hoiberg was supposed to elevate Chicago to an elite offensive team, but the Bulls have actually dropped in offensive efficiency from No. 11 under Tom Thibodeau last season to No. 27 this year. Luckily, the defensive principles Thibodeau instilled have stuck with the team, as Chicago currently ranks fourth in defensive efficiency. Viewed by many as Cleveland’s biggest competition for Eastern Conference supremacy, Chicago has plenty to figure out if they are to make a deep playoff run.
And that starts with the coach and the face of the franchise getting on the same page.
Source: Bulls Nation