Bulls

Van Gundy predicts Hoiberg will coach Bulls in shot at franchise

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Van Gundy predicts Hoiberg will coach Bulls in shot at franchise

ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy has never been shy about voicing his opinions about the Bulls, taking another shot at the front office one day after Tom Thibodeau’s firing.

In one swoop, Thibodeau’s trusted confidant offered his opinion on who the next coach of the Chicago Bulls will be, and it wasn’t a surprise to hear him evoke the name of Iowa State head coach Fred Hoiberg.

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While appearing on Sirius XM, Van Gundy (in tweets from New York Daily News writer and Sirius XM host Frank Isola) said, “Hopefully they treat their next head coach better. You know, Fred Hoiberg and his staff. Fred’s a good man and he’s a good coach, and I hope he gets treated well. I hope he gets treated really well.”

The implication with Van Gundy’s words follows a line of thinking that says Thibodeau wasn’t treated well in Chicago in the last months and years leading to his dismissal Thursday.

[RELATED: Fred Hoiberg leading candidate to replace Tom Thibodeau]

Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf issued a statement when the franchise announced Thibodeau’s firing, hinting at discord, a contrast from the usual bland statements that accompany a parting of ways.

Thibodeau issued a statement that thanked the fans, the organization and ownership for the opportunity of coaching the Bulls. Van Gundy’s statement represented somewhat of a salvo from Thibodeau’s camp, with more pointed ones likely to come.

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

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NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Bulls-76ers

The Bulls square off against the Sixers tonight on NBC Sports Chicago, with coverage beginning at 6:30 with Bulls Pregame Live. Here are three things to watch as the Bulls begin the stretch run of their regular season.

1. The new rotation: Most of the Bulls’ rotation looks the same, but the addition of David Nwaba, Cristiano Felicio and Cameron Payne will have a different feel. The Bulls clearly want to get a look at these guys before the end of the regular season, meaning they’re not just going to get sporadic minutes. They’ll have to play through their mistakes, play out-matched at times and be put in uncomfortable situations. But the Bulls need to see what they have, especially in Payne, who has missed the entire season to this point with a broken foot.

2. Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons: They’re quite the 1-2 punch and have the Sixers looking at their first playoff appearance since Derrick Rose hadn’t yet torn an ACL. Yeah, that’s a long time. Embiid just finished his first All-Star appearance (starting in his second year) and Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year. The Bulls will have their hands full with these two. Luckily…

3. Kris Dunn is back: The Bulls wanted to get Dunn some run before heading to All-Star Weekend to play in the Rising Stars Challenge, and he looked healthy in that thumping against the Raptors last week. The good news is John Paxson says Dunn won’t be on a minutes limit, which means he’s healthy. That, of course, is more important than how he’s playing. It’ll be fun to see him, LaVine and Markkanen play together down the stretch. Their numbers together aren’t great, but the Bulls are 2-2 with all three in the lineup, and tanking or not…it’s more fun to watch when those three are rolling. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Of Bulls and Blackhawks, which team will finish with higher draft pick?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times), Hub Arkush (ProFootball Weekly) and Jason Goch (SB Nation) join Kap on the panel.

The guys debate which team will finish with a higher draft pick when the season ends: Bulls or Blackhawks?

Plus, hear their reaction to the MLB’s new pace-of-play rule change.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: