There was a tone of acceptance mixed with optimism about the state of affairs for the Bulls after their embarrassing loss to the Hornets in Charlotte, spurred by a performance on the defensive end that could best be described as “non-existent.”
“Usually, you look at a film and it’s never as good or as bad as you think it is,” Hoiberg said. “Yesterday was as bad as I thought it was. It was ugly from start to finish. We weren’t helping each other. We weren’t trusting each other at both ends.”
In other words, it was just as bad as Jimmy Butler surmised after the game when he pointedly said the Bulls didn’t compete, particularly defensively.
“Some things are unexplainable in life and yesterday I guess was one of them,” said Hoiberg, who also said no changes will be in the starting lineup.
Butler was asked if there would be a better effort against the formidable, title-ready Oklahoma City Thunder and he replied, “I promise you that.”
“High-spirited guys competing and playing the game that we love,” Butler added. “I think that’s the perks of this. We competed extremely hard against each other, but when we go up against an opposing team we don’t compete nearly as hard. That can’t happen, so we got back to work today.
“You can’t really coach effort. You go out there, you guard, you rebound, you do all the little things. That’s what effort is all about. You either want to do it or you don’t."
It sparked widespread panic because it’s the fifth game into the season and there seemed to be a difference in the way Hoiberg wanted the pace to be run compared to the way Derrick Rose perceived it.
After the game, Rose said he felt the pace was fine but before he spoke, Hoiberg bemoaned the lack of it and repeatedly bringing the ball upcourt slowly, an old habit that seems hard to break.
“We sat in the film room today and watched a lot of clips. He’s in there and understands and takes full accountability for his issues,” Hoiberg said. “That’s where it starts. You have to see it and get better. He had a very good practice today. He’s still getting himself in the type of shape he needs to be in.”
Hoiberg added Rose isn’t wholly at fault, that pace is a five-man thing as opposed to the point guard running it up. Nevertheless, the slow starts could be derived from Rose’s lack of aggressiveness offensively combined with Tony Snell not being a primary scorer and mostly being in the first five because he’s capable defensively.
Three straight games of scoring 10 points or fewer, the first time in Rose’s career such a dubious feat has been attained, leaves Hoiberg in a spot where three of the five starters aren’t offensive threats.
“I don’t know if I’d call Derrick a non-scorer. He’s a threat,” Hoiberg said. “We've got to get out and run with him. That’s where it starts with Derrick. We have to put more initial pressure on the defense. We’re not doing that.”
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Which goes back to movement, an attribute that was in short order Tuesday and has been sparingly displayed with any consistency this season. They fell behind 19-10 in Detroit in their overtime loss, and the loss to the Hornets speaks for itself, but if one needs a refresher, the Bulls fell behind 17-9 before the deficit reached 18 in the first quarter.
“It has to be a commitment by all five guys to get out and run,” Hoiberg said. “When we do it, we’re pretty effective. But there’s too much inconsistency in that area right now. You look at the game against Orlando and we had great pace early in that game and then it fell apart in the fourth quarter.”