The Fred Hoiberg to-do list is a long one, and a key will be getting the backcourt running

SHARE The Fred Hoiberg to-do list is a long one, and a key will be getting the backcourt running

It is no small to-do list for Fred Hoiberg.

The newly-named Bulls coach admittedly still had unfinished goodbyes to wrap up in Ames, Iowa, had film to watch on all 82 regular-season Bulls games and then 12 playoff games from this past year, draft prep, keeping the current Bulls coaching staff relatively intact, reaching out to the players on his new roster, and all the while keeping an eye on the NBA Finals with the hope of finding an Achilles Heel in the Eastern Conference obstacle that is LeBron James.

And that’s just by this weekend.

It will all mean very little, however, if he doesn’t have a plan on how to make his up-tempo “Hoiball’’ offense work with the current personnel he has been handed in his first NBA coaching gig, and that will start in the backcourt with Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler.

“I think it will be great for Derrick,’’ Hoiberg said of his offense. “Derrick’s obviously a guy who’s at his best when he’s playing downhill. If we can get the wings out running, you get that first big running to the rim, and you give Derrick space on the fast break, that’s going to create a lot of opportunities. We run a lot of simple drag screens in transition with the floor spaced with shooters, where he can get in the paint and make plays. And that’s where I think he’s as good as anyone in the world at being that guy.

“I’m excited about Jimmy, obviously getting out and running on the wings. Jimmy’s an attack player. If you can get him the ball on the run, on the move, and attacking the basket with pace, I think it’s an ideal system for him.’’

Despite Tom Thibodeau’s offense grading out well both in efficiency and points per possession, the front office has done its best in the smear campaign of the fired coach to try and downplay those offensive numbers.

Pacing was one such category that they wanted to see improvement, with the Bulls ranking 20th in pace factor [the number of possessions a team uses per game] at 95.4. Not that it translates to winning, as Cleveland, Memphis and New Orleans were all below the Bulls and all playoff teams.

Golden State, however, led the league at 100.7.

Not only did Hoiberg show at Iowa State that pacing is a key to his offense, but also the spacing in pushing it up the floor is still able to play with efficiency. In his four years with the Cyclones, they were one of two teams in the country to place in the top 15 in offensive efficiency in each of the past three seasons.

“Again, I can speak on what we had going on at Iowa State,’’ Hoiberg said. “We had six players average double figures last year, and a lot of that was due to the ball movement, the player movement that we had on the offensive side of the floor.

“So I’m really excited. I obviously think [Rose and Butler] are two of the elite guards in this league right now, and I think those guys going out there, playing off of each other is very exciting for me. As far as going in there, I try to have enough things on my plate where we can go out there and take advantage of a mismatch whether you’re a one, two, three, four or five. We’ve really had a system that we played at Iowa State where we’ve inverted the floor, but I think those guys will play well off of each other.’’

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