Pau Gasol: Bulls often weren’t ready to play, gave away too many games

SHARE Pau Gasol: Bulls often weren’t ready to play, gave away too many games
SHARE Pau Gasol: Bulls often weren’t ready to play, gave away too many games

Bulls forward Pau Gasol had a terrific first season in Chicago. He was an All-Star at age 34 who averaged 18.5 points and 11.8 rebounds.

But the Bulls as a group were often dysfunctional, experiencing highs and lows throughout a season that ended in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the LeBron James-led Cavaliers. Gasol missed two games in that series.

Asked over the weekend about the dysfunction during the season — Tom Thibodeau’s last in Chicago — Gasol said “it’s hard to pinpoint the specific reasons.”

“There was definitely an inconsistency throughout the year,” Gasol said, via the Boston Globe. “We were kind of a very up-and-down team even though we finished third in the conference. We still had a lot of games that we just weren’t ready to play, just too many games we gave away against teams that we were supposed to beat.”

The Bulls fired Thibodeau after the season and replaced him with Fred Hoiberg, whose offense Gasol is excited about exploring. But defense will still be the key.

“I think with Fred we’re going to have more freedom to play in transition and exploit our abilities as individuals and as a team,” he said. “But as long as we understand that defense is what wins championships and what makes the difference, we don’t neglect that side of the game, which is critical, we should be fine. We can work on our offense all we want, but defense is going to make the difference in how we’re going to beat other teams.”

Read more from Gasol’s interview at Saturday’s NBA exhibition game in Johannesburg by clicking here.

The Latest
NFL
The team has a waiting list of 140,000 for 81,441-seat Lambeau Field, which means a long time on the list.
Lesly Morales has been missing since late April, family said.
The Committee on Public Safety approved the mayor’s ordinance by a comfortable vote of 14 to 3 that did not reflect the barrage of concerns raised about a crackdown roundly condemned as a toothless and desperate headline-grabber that will have no impact on youth violence.
“I truly believe the greatest symbol of evil in our time is a child lying in a casket, slaughtered by violence. How many people have to die and children slaughtered before we say, ‘Enough!?’ ”
We spoke with four Chicago college students graduating this year about how the pandemic shook up their college experiences, their finances and their mental health.