It’s not exactly the best-looking resume nine games into the regular season.
Sure, there are a few staple wins over the likes of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, but there are also a few clunkers along the way, including a 25-point loss in Charlotte and a home overtime loss to Minnesota.
So what exactly is this 2015-16 version of the Bulls?
“A work in progress,’’ Joakim Noah continues to say.
The hope is the Bulls have reached the part of the schedule will that real work can take place.
Through the first two weeks of the regular season, first-year coach Fred Hoiberg admittedly felt handcuffed in trying to get his system up-and-running to its full potential just because of the lack of practice time. Not unexpected, especially since Hoiberg played in the NBA for 10 seasons, but definitely not like his past few years at Iowa State, where the college schedule allowed coaches to focus on preparation.
So call the last week a reboot.
Following the Monday game in Philadelphia, the Bulls had three off days before the Friday night win against Charlotte. Two more off-days before hosting Indiana, and then a trip out west that only has three games over the next 10 days.
In other words, Hoiberg’s dry board is going to continue to get a workout.
“Do you add a lot of new actions, sets, or do you try to get the ones you have in and be able to execute them better?’’ Hoiberg said, when asked how he was approaching this part of the schedule. “That’s kind of what we’ve done is really try to work on the things we have to get better at that we already have in. But we have added a couple new elements like all coaches and teams do when they have a couple off-days.’’
That back-to-basics attitude was on full display in the win over the Hornets, out-rebounding Charlotte 57-45, as well as handing out 27 assists.
As far as what’s yet to still be installed in the “Hoiball’’ offense? The rookie coach usually snickers a bit when asked, sounding like a guy that doesn’t have enough room in his sleeves for all the tricks he wants to unveil.
The reality for this core group of players, however, is until they understand the importance and urgency of every regular-season game – a problem they’ve had for a few years – clunkers are going to be part of their make-up.
“If you’re not out there playing with the type of effort you need to, normally your execution isn’t very good,’’ Hoiberg said. “You’re not getting stops in those games like we have in some. And then you’re taking the ball out of the net and you come down the floor with your head down. That’s what we have to get better at and hopefully we’ve gotten better these last couple days.’’
So where is that energy supposed to come from?
Well, forget Derrick Rose. He already insisted earlier in the week that he’s got his own “problems’’ to deal with. No, as usual, the Bulls player with his hand up as volunteer remained Jimmy Butler.
“I have to,’’ Butler said of setting a tone. “Kind of on both ends of the floor, all aspects of the game. That’s what I’m supposed to do. That’s what my teammates need me to do. So I gotta be that guy, whether I want to or not.
“It starts in practice. Practice is the hard part. Games are easy. Games are the fun part.’’
Well, for this Bulls team it depends on the night.