Playing The Blame Game In Chicago

Jan 12, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg calls a play ing the second quarter during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 12, 2016; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg calls a play ing the second quarter during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

There is never-ending concern surrounding the Chicago Bulls this season, and plenty of blame to go around.

The Chicago Bulls are 22-15, putting them in the N0. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference. Not exactly what you would expect of a franchise once known as a powerhouse, a championship contender.

While the media is trying to make heads or tails of the problems within this organization, the fans are flat out over it. And the team itself? Well, the team is playing the blame game.

Derrick Rose: The Same Old Story

Rose left Tuesday night’s game late in the fourth quarter with patellar tendonitis. After the Bulls’ 106-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the guard explained:

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"“Just felt something with my left knee, like jumper’s knee or something like that. It just didn’t feel right while I was out there. Just got to be cautious with my body.”"

Patellar tendonitis is not necessarily serious, but with Rose’s history, it is easy to understand how Chicagoans face-palmed when they realized when and why he came out of the matchup. At this point, Rose’s name in association with just about any injury screams a recipe for disaster.

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But here is the kicker. As if it is not bad enough that Rose is once again going through something, this yet again starts the argument of whether he is playing too much or needs to play more.

On the one hand, how would it look resting your so-called star player? Especially when your season is not really going as planned. But on the other hand, in order for Rose to be successful on a more long-term basis, there may need to be more of an acknowledgment regarding his body’s seemingly growing limitations.

Head coach Fred Hoiberg said that the organization had discussed resting the likes of Rose during the long stretch of playing four games in five nights. But what the result of that conversation looked like, is anyone’s guess.

One thing is for sure though: no one is in sync. And if this latest woe does turn out to be more than meets the eye, the players, their coach, and his management will all point fingers at one another for not utilizing him more appropriately.

Joakim Noah and The Case Of His Missing Drive

Noah has been noticeably different as of late. Once the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, the 30-year-old is playing the fewest number of minutes (21.9 per game), since he was a rookie. He is averaging just 4.3 points on 38.2 percent shooting from the field, and 8.8 rebounds a game. And has only started in one contest this year.

To say he is playing terrible basketball would be putting it nicely.

So what does the center have to say for himself?

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Well, it seems as though Noah’s problems arose from losing his starting role at the beginning of the season. Oh, and obviously, this does not make him Hoiberg’s biggest fan.

There are a lot of people who too feel as though Hoiberg benching Noah was a horrible idea. Next to Rose, Noah was the understood face of the franchise. Fans loved his spunk, his unapologetic demeanor, his drive.  And it felt like a slap in the face to them to see Hoiberg treat him almost as an afterthought.

But can the big man really blame the entirety of his diminished level of play, on his new role?

Life never goes exactly according to plan, for anyone. And although Noah’s ego took a big hit, he should always want to put his team first. Regardless of if he already has his mind made up about leaving once his contract is up, he needs to live in the present and give Chicago his all.

And as irony may have it, the less motivation to do so he shows, the less likely it will be for Hoiberg to reconsider giving him his spot back. Especially as the team recently went 7-2 without Noah in the mix due to injury.

Failure To Communicate

Remember when Jimmy Butler spoke out against Hoiberg in regards to him not coaching the guys hard enough?

Well now it seems like Hoiberg has a complaint of his own in trying to explain the reasoning behind the Bulls’ latest loss.

"“It starts with communication. The guys on the bench talk more than the guys on the floor for whatever reason.”"

It is true that none of the players are denying that there is an issue to work through.

Butler himself explained, “We’re not talking like we’re supposed to be talking, and you can really tell.” Pau Gasol upped the ante when he said:

"“Some players are quieter than others. But at the same time you got to work on it. You got to force yourself to speak and communicate out there to let your teammate know what’s going on, and it’s an important factor.”"

However it must be stated that often times lack of communication is a trickle-down effect. In other words, if a coach is not communicating properly with his players, they probably will not do so with one another, either.

And it is hardly a secret that not everyone is thrilled with Hoiberg having taken over for Tom Thibodeau.

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The Chicago Bulls have had their fair share of drama so far this year. Will it end any time soon, with no one taking any responsibility for their own actions? Only time will tell.