Hoiberg appreciates Houston's 3-point heavy style
When Fred Hoiberg became head coach of the Bulls in 2015, there was talk about wanting to join the NBA trend of being a more high-scoring, faster-paced team.
So what does Hoiberg think of the Houston Rockets, averaging 115 points and 40 attempts per game from 3-point range?
"I love it," he said before Friday's game. "One game against Minnesota earlier in the year, they shot 58 threes. That's unbelievable to be able to play that style, commit to it and build a team with the type of guys that fit with James (Harden)."
The 58 shots from behind the arc aren't even the Rockets' season-high. They launched 61 against New Orleans on Dec. 16.
Houston clearly had a plan in mind and executed it well. The Rockets signed a couple of 3-point shooters last summer in Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson, then new head coach Mike D'Antoni moved Harden to point guard and he now leads the NBA in assists.
"Harden, you can't stress enough how impressive he is," Hoiberg said. "He just makes the right play every time down the floor as far as making the pocket pass or throwing the shake pass to the guy pulling behind. He's doing such a good job of that. It fits who they are and they're sticking to it."
D'Antoni compares pace:
Mike D'Antoni made his name in the NBA when he turned the Phoenix Suns into a fast-paced, high-scoring team a decade ago. Before facing the Bulls, D'Antoni compared the pace of the two squads.
"We ran the wings a lot faster (in Phoenix)," D'Antoni said. "You had Amare and Shawn Marion. Shawn Marion might be the fastest forward out there for a long time. Steve (Nash) has his pace and pushes it faster than James (Harden) does constantly.
"I feel like point guards do their own pace and you can't really (say), 'OK, I want you to do Steve Nash.' No, Steve does that, James does this, Jeremy Lin did that. Everybody has their own pace and we play around it. Usually that's good enough. What we try to insist is the movement of the ball and the ball's got to go quickly. James is just really good at coming down, one creation, one pass and that's it."
Wade wants some wins:
At Friday's shootaround, Dwyane Wade talked about the Bulls adjusting to different players in the lineup after trading Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to Oklahoma City on Feb. 23.
"Obviously when you make a change like we made, lost two guys in our rotation, it's going to be tough," he said. "There's no question about it, but it's no excuse. We still have an opportunity, we're still in the playoffs. We've just got to go out there in these last 18 games and control our own destiny and we can do that.
"We played very well for five out of six games and then we've had a couple bad ones, but that's been us all year. No confidence lost, that's just the way it is. Let's get back on the saddle and get some wins."