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Vinny Del Negro: 'Bulls tried to change their identity, that takes time'

Nobody knows better how Fred Hoiberg feels right now than Vinny Del Negro, the former coach of the Bulls.

Del Negro, who coached the Bulls two years to consecutive 41-win seasons, knows all about managing the expectations of Chicago fans.

Despite making the playoffs in his first two years of coaching, Del Negro was asked to pass the keys to Tom Thibodeau in 2010.

Del Negro appeared on ESPN-1000’s “Kap & Co.” with David Kaplan on Tuesday, where he addressed the Bulls’ shortcomings this season.

From ESPN-1000:

“They tried to change their identity, and that takes time,” Del Negro said. “They went from being a defensive identity team. You know the last year, I was there, my second year, we were third in the league in defensive field goal percentage.

“Then, Tom came in and continued that trend. The roster got deeper. All of a sudden, the Derrick [Rose] injuries started, but the identity was defense. Now, they’ve gone to try and score the basketball at a high clip, but you’ve seen their defense slip and so [has] the consistency factor, building an identity as to how you want to play.”

Del Negro, who works for NBA-TV and ESPN as a basketball analyst, said that in defense of the Bulls, injuries have likely set back Hoiberg’s plans.

“The Bulls try to change who they were,” Del Negro said. “They made changes to be an offensive team. You don’t put Mirotic into the lineup to become a better defensive team. You’re putting him in there to be more of a stretch-four to go with the pace and space mentality of all the NBA teams. Let’s up our possessions. Let’s play more bench. Let’s take some minutes off some guys. Well, they have a deeper bench and they can do that now. But that hasn’t always been the case.”

Del Negro added that the Bulls’ roster is deep and talented, but it’s hard to gauge how good they are with all the injuries.

For the complete interview, CLICK HERE.