Hinrich says Hoiberg has brought fast pace, calm demeanor to Bulls

Updated 10/3/2015 6:47 PM
  • Chicago Bulls' Fred Hoiberg, left, jokes with Jimmy Butler, second from right, and Joakim Noah, during an NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Chicago.

    Chicago Bulls' Fred Hoiberg, left, jokes with Jimmy Butler, second from right, and Joakim Noah, during an NBA basketball media day Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Chicago.

Kirk Hinrich has played for six different head coaches during his tenure with the Bulls, which began in 2003. That makes him a good source to assess the offensive system of coach Fred Hoiberg.

"It's a lot more reads, more free-flowing," Hinrich said after Saturday's practice at the Advocate Center. "It's all predicated on pace, the way you play with pace and get stops. Just learning how we're going to get into the right spots offensively, defensively.

"Everybody's done a good job. Right now it's pretty common early in training camp for everybody to be playing a little too fast. Just play fast but not hurried, get to the right spots, worry about spacing."

The first week of training camp has been mostly about teaching the new tactics. A few of the guys -- Doug McDermott, Bobby Portis and Cameron Bairstow -- have a head start because they learned it during summer league. Some other players, like Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson, are getting extra rest during camp, so they're putting in more work on the side to learn the system.

"Some guys we've kept after late if they don't understand a certain set or certain thing we're trying to do. But it's coming," Hoiberg said. "Taj has only been able to go once in our double days, (so) he's been coming in early getting work. We're getting Pau caught up very quickly. Obviously, he's a quick learner. Niko (Mirotic), we're trying to get him to learn the perimeter and the four spot."

Derrick Rose has been missing entirely since he took an elbow to the face in the first practice last Tuesday. After having surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone below his left eye, Rose is scheduled to resume basketball activity on Oct. 14.

It's an interesting dynamic for the Bulls this year. The top 12 players are back from last season's team, but the coaching staff is mostly new, with the exception of assistant Mike Wilhelm. The Bulls fired coach Tom Thibodeau after five winning seasons.

"There are a lot of differences," Hinrich said of the new coaching staff. "Fred's really calm. He teaches. He's a very good teacher, makes his points, but he's calm. I think he has a great staff -- Pete (Myers), Randy (Brown), Jim (Boylen), Mike Wilhelm. The guys are doing a great job. It's been a very enjoyable camp."

The Bulls are closing in on their first game action of the preseason, on Tuesday against Milwaukee at the United Center. Hoiberg was asked Saturday if there's anything he didn't like about the first week of practice.

"Yeah, we're turning it over way too much," he said. "You've got to value the possession. And we're giving up too many offensive rebounds, which is good and bad. It means you're getting rebounds, but you're giving them up on the other end.

"Those things generally happen. Everywhere I've been, early on in practice you're always turning the ball over too much. But it's getting better. Just make simple plays. We've got enough weapons on this team. You don't have to hit a home run every time you go in there and try and make a play. Just go in and make the right one. When we've done that, generally good things have happened."

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