Hoiberg can learn from Miami's remarkable turnaround
The Miami Heat, which visits the United Center on Monday afternoon, could serve as an inspiration to the Bulls.
Last year, the Heat went 10-31 during the first half of the season, then 31-10 in the second. This year, they had a sluggish start but won their seventh game in a row on Sunday against Milwaukee.
The Bulls are trying to make a similar dramatic turnaround, having gone 13-7 since Dec. 8 after starting 3-20. Opinions may vary depending on the importance given to the Bulls getting a high draft pick.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg was asked if he has learned anything from watching Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. The first six games in Miami's win streak were decided by 7 points or less, before the Heat beat Milwaukee by 18 on Sunday.
"Yeah, you try to learn, the best coaches in the world are at this level," Hoiberg said. "You try to pick up things from everybody. Give Erik credit for doing an excellent job with this team. They're doing as good as any team in this league of closing out tight games.
"I gave my coaches a project this summer where we took the top 15 offensive efficiency teams to see if we can apply anything to our group. Then the (Jimmy Butler) trade was made and we did the project all over again."
LaVine sits in fourth:
The plan for Zach LaVine's second game won't change -- 20-minute limit and likely no action in the fourth quarter.
After his debut, LaVine was asked how it felt watching the fourth quarter, when the lead changed hands six times in the final 4:39 before the Bulls beat Detroit 107-105.
"Wishing I was out there to help," he said. "But just knowing and understanding you've got to be here on the sideline for the first little bit of this, cheering on my teammates, helping any way I can. It's a little frustrating, obviously, especially because you're playing and now you're back into it."
LaVine added a shot of optimism to his Bulls debut, saying, "I think we can make a push for this thing."
What exactly he thinks the Bulls can make a push for, though -- playoffs, championship, No. 1 draft pick? A follow-up question is needed.
Lopez fixes glass:
While the Bulls used Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis as their big men in the fourth, Detroit center Andre Drummond checked in and scored 8 straight points -- all after offensive rebounds. Drummond's last basket put Detroit up 101-100 with 4:12 left.
The Bulls got center Robin Lopez back in the game and he helped keep Drummond scoreless the rest of the way.
"It took a while," Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Sunday. "I think there was two minutes we couldn't get Robin in the game (due to no stoppages). When we put Robin and Lauri back in there, both of them were really good."
Markkanen's jumper with 1:08 left was the game-winner.