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Bulls’ plan for three-day break: Practice, practice, practice

Memphis Grizzlies v Chicago Bulls

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 16: Head coach Fred Hoiberg of the Chicago Bulls watches as his team takes on the Memphis Grizzlies at the United Center on December 16, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Grizzlies 98-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Jimmy Butler wanted Fred Hoiberg to be harder on the Bulls.

The Chicago coach is appeasing his star player.

Hoiberg has sent a tough message to the Bulls through words and now action.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

After losing to the Nets yesterday, Chicago doesn’t play until visiting the Thunder on Christmas (Friday). This is the Bulls’ first three-day break in nearly a month and their last three-day break of the season aside from the All-Star break. Banged up already, it seems they could use rest.

Instead, Hoiberg is enacting a plan reminiscent to Tom Thibodeau, who’d get absolutely killed for this.

How did Hoiberg, who emphasized the importance of rest when hired, reach this point? This feels like a college coach trying to seize control rather than a seasoned pro coach recognizing how exhausting a long NBA season is.

To be fair, not all practices are created equal. Hoiberg could work the players less than Thibodeau did in his practices. But to have everyone come in three days is still taxing. Of course, Hoiberg hasn’t held the practices yet. He could always cancel one or two. This could be his way of setting harsh expectations only to pleasantly surprise his team.

In the meantime, it sure looks like Butler deserves some credit/blame for having these practices called. I wonder how his teammates, some of whom reportedly already have issues with him, feel about his contributions to this week’s schedule.