With Bulls players admitting they lack discipline, Fred Hoiberg wants them to look in the mirror

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It would be easy for Fred Hoiberg to offer up some coachspeak and take the blame.

After all, that’s what a first-year coach would often do.

Not Hoiberg.

Did he hide from the responsibility of his players saying that they lacked discipline? No, not at all. But he wasn’t going to take full accountability for what the players should be handling themselves, either.

Following the embarrassing loss in Los Angeles on Sunday, both Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol were very outspoken about a lack of discipline by players, especially when it came to the defensive end of the court.

Hoiberg talked about those comments on Monday, and thought a good remedy would be for players to first look in the mirror.

“Well, absolutely,’’ Hoiberg said, when asked if it was time for the players to start wearing some of the accountability of their inconsistencies. “Yeah. It’s on everybody. We watch a lot of film. We watch a lot of film going into these games, each coach is responsible for a scouting report. You spend a lot of time and effort putting the game plan together and it’s very important to go out and do the things that you put together to try and win that game or give yourself the best chance to win that game.

“We’ve done it on multiple occasions this year, and we’ve had slippage in certain games. So yeah, you have to have that. It’s gotta be somewhere the guys can look each in the face and hold each other responsible and accountable when they’re not doing it on the floor, and be able to take that.’’

It was after the Clippers ran the Bulls off the floor Sunday that Butler was asked about toughness and discipline. While the guard wouldn’t admit that his team lacked toughness, he had no problem questioning discipline.

“Oh yeah, in a lot of key areas,’’ Butler said. “Which is why games turn out the way that they do at times. I don’t know. We better figure it out. We got a long road ahead of us.’’

Gasol wasn’t shy about going down that road either.

“We’re not discipline,’’ Gasol said. “It’s true. It’s a fact. We’ll have to prove if we can or not. We’re disciplined at times. But the lack of consistency is very noticeable. It’s nothing new. There’s no discovery here.’’

Maybe not. But Hoiberg would like the discovery to start with the guys on the floor taking accountability in that department.

Asked if chemistry between the players has made that difficult, again Hoiberg was very honest.

“That’s part of it, especially with the things we’ve had with players in and out of the lineup,’’ Hoiberg said. “You talk about veterans but we’ve also got a lot of new players who are playing in rotations for the first time in their careers. So you’ve got that mix. Just when you think you’re hitting stride, you have a setback with somebody going out of the lineup. Then you have to insert somebody else that you hope fills the shoes. We’ve had some of that. Is that an excuse? No. You have to go out there and do your job to the best of your abilities.’’

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