Bulls improve to 2-0 as Rajon Rondo continues embracing ‘Hoiball’

SHARE Bulls improve to 2-0 as Rajon Rondo continues embracing ‘Hoiball’

While most of the city was fixated on what was taking place about six miles northeast of the United Center, the Bulls quietly went about the business of playing “Hoiball.’’


Yes, two games into an 82-game NBA season isn’t even big enough to be called a sample size, but that doesn’t mean that second-year coach Fred Hoiberg wasn’t allowed to enjoy what he was seeing in the 118-101 one-sided win over Indiana on Saturday.

It was defense, outside shooting, ball movement, and pace and space for 48 minutes. Basically, everything Hoiberg was supposed to bring from Iowa State when the Bulls hired the offensive-minded coach to take over the chair left by Tom Thibodeau.

Basically, everything last year’s team wasn’t able to do consistently or in some cases even grasp.

And while there’s plenty of credit to go around, Dwyane Wade was pushing it in one direction following the win.

“He’s the PG [point guard], man,’’ Wade said of new teammate Rajon Rondo. “He’s the first one on the ball defensively, putting on that pressure. It allows you behind him to do the same thing, and then he runs the offense for us.

“That position has always been important in this game, and it’s very important to this team.’’

Not only was Wade praising Rondo, but so was Hoiberg, as the point guard finished with 13 assists in just 25 minutes of work.

“I’ll say this, Rajon has really been committed to getting that ball up the floor, and he talks in every huddle, ‘Guys run with me, run with me.’ ‘’ Hoiberg said. “Again, it’s something we work on, it’s something we stress, getting the ball up and down the floor, and again, our guys have been playing very unselfishly. When somebody is open we generally make the right play.’’

They were making the right plays on both side of the ball against Indiana.

That was on display very early, as the Bulls (2-0) held the shoot-first-ask-questions-later Pacers offense to just 20 points in the first 12 minutes, and didn’t feel the need to take their foot off the throat in the second, allowing just 21 points.

Meanwhile, all the concerns that the Bulls offense might go through some growing pains in the early part of the season continued to be put on mute, evident by a second quarter in which the Bulls shot 14-for-18 (78 percent) from the field, blowing the game open as they scored 38 in the stanza and took a 62-41 lead into the halftime locker room.

The knockout came in the third, as the Bulls had another 30-point quarter, shooting 9-for-15 from the field, as well as out-rebounding Indiana (1-2) 10-6 in the quarter to keep the lead, 92-67.

More importantly, the one-sided contest allowed Hoiberg to rest his starters, with Wade, Robin Lopez, Jimmy Butler, and Rondo each getting a light workload in the blowout. Nights like that will be especially important for Wade, as he scored 14 points and only needed just over 21 minutes on the floor to do it.

Not only was Wade’s workload light, but so was his wallet, as the NBA fined him $25,000 for the throat-cut gesture he did in the win over Boston on Thursday.

“Obviously I’ve been in this league awhile so when [the league office] called, I knew they were gonna call before they called,’’ Wade said. “Like I told them, I didn’t mean anything malicious by it.

“There are rules to this game and you have to respect the rules. And when you don’t, you get fined, so it’s all good.’’

Through the first two games, almost everything has been for the Bulls.

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