Could Bulls' Fred Hoiberg be next head coach fired?
Could Bulls' Fred Hoiberg be next head coach fired?
Oddsmakers give Fred Hoiberg a decent chance to be the next NBA coach fired, but the move would surprise our Bulls writer.
A week ago, Bovada [released odds](https://www.betchicago.com/bulls-fred-hoiberg-first-nba-coach-fired-prop) on who would be the first NBA coach fired in the 2018-19 season. Chicago Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg came in third on the list at 5/1, behind the Lakers' Luke Walton (7/4) and Timberwolves' Tom Thibodeau (2/1), but Tyronn Lue at 12/1 odds would up being the winning bet when the Cleveland Cavaliers fired him over the weekend. BetOnline.ag released updated odds [this week](https://clutchpoints.com/nba-news-odds-released-who-will-be-next-head-coach-fired/) on who would be the next coach fired, though these odds have since been taken off the board as of Tuesday night. While Hoiberg moved back a spot to fourth on the list, he came in at 4/1 behind the Thunder's Billy Donovan (2/1), Wizards' Scott Brooks (5/2) and Thibodeau (3/1), with Walton (9/2) behind Fred. *__10/31 UPDATE: [BetOnline.ag](https://www.betonline.ag/sportsbook/futures-and-props/nba-specials) has put the odds back on the board, with Brooks (11/10) the new favorite, followed by Donovan (5/2), Hoiberg (4/1), Thibodeau (4/1) and Walton (6/1). __* Whatever the betting odds, does Hoiberg have a legitimate chance of becoming the next coach fired this season? It's easy to think so after the Bulls' epic 149-124 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday. Chicago gave up a comical 92 first-half points and allowed Klay Thompson to set a 3-point record by splashing in 14 triples on 24 attempts: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN8gYTQ8_mY" class="embedly-card" data-card-width="100%" data-card-controls="1">Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DN8gYTQ8_mY</a> Thompson ran circles around the Bulls' nonexistent defense, finding himself wide open time after time even when it was obvious the Warriors were trying to get him the record. As unfair as Thompson and the defending champs are, it was still a shameful effort by a Chicago defense that has already had its share of disasters. The Bulls clock in at a league-worst 117.8 points allowed per 100 possessions, [per NBA.com.](https://stats.nba.com/teams/advanced/?sort=DEF_RATING&dir=-1) Hoiberg summed up the game well by saying the Bulls simply got their "ass kicked," but he also lamented his team's effort. [Via Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic:](https://theathletic.com/622232/2018/10/30/oral-history-of-that-time-klay-thompson-hit-14-3-pointers-in-27-minutes-against-the-bulls/) > __Hoiberg:__ That’s the grit and the edge that I’m talking about. You’ve got to find a way to dig in. This team has had huge leads and teams have kept playing and come back. (Sunday) night was an example of that. When they got up 19 on Brooklyn, (the Nets) came all the way back and had a chance to win the game. We didn’t do that. That’s why you saw the score down 40 at half. ... > > The disappointing thing is the lack of edge that we played with tonight to allow them to get comfortable and get confidence and get going. And then when they hit us in the mouth, we did not respond well. That’s what we’ve been talking about here these last few weeks. When we’ve done that and we’ve played through adversity, we’ve won a couple of games. When we haven’t, this is the theme. This is what’s happened. Terrible defense spurred on by lackluster effort always reflects poorly on a coach. Hoiberg has also seemingly been called out by [Zach LaVine](https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/bulls-guard-zach-lavine-questions-play-calling-and-execution/) and [Jabari Parker](https://theathletic.com/616612/2018/10/27/the-reality-of-jabari-parkers-role-in-the-bulls-defensive-failures/) already this season, though both players downplayed any issues with the coaches. One has to wonder, however, if Parker is still upset about being moved to a bench role after expecting to be a starter. Hoiberg made the right call with that Parker power move, but overall he has had little success as Bulls coach. The 46-year-old has a 112-141 regular-season record and just one playoff appearance in three-plus years at the helm. He signed a five-year deal to take over for Thibodeau in 2015, so he's nearing the end of his contract. If the Bulls continue to suffer their share of embarrassing losses (the schedule isn't getting any easier), the calls for Hoiberg's head will only grow louder. However, Hoiberg has some things working in his favor. While the former Iowa State coach hasn't won in Chicago, there have been strange circumstances each year. Hoiberg walked into a fractured locker room after the ugly Thibs exit. Hoiberg's second season was the ill-fated "Three Alphas" experiment. Last season featured the Bulls trying to lose games, and they actually won more than expected and showed flashes of being able to run his system effectively. This season, the Bulls have suffered a litany of injuries to key rotation players. Lauri Markkanen [got hurt before preseason even began](https://www.betchicago.com/lauri-markkanen-elbow-injury-dampens-optimism-bulls-preseason-opener-promising-signs). Denzel Valentine's ankles are bothering him again. [Kris Dunn](https://www.betchicago.com/wednesday-nba-betting-lines-trends-kris-dunn-injury-hornets-ats) and Bobby Portis both have MCL sprains that will keep them out a month or more. There's only so much Hoiberg can do with a banged-up roster. Chicago's front office has shown no inclination of making a change, and this loyal management group put a lot of faith in Hoiberg when it quickly hired him after canning Thibs. Letting go of Hoiberg now would reflect poorly on the front office, though there's also zero indication John Paxson or Gar Forman are in trouble if a coaching change is made. Given the injuries, I would be surprised if Hoiberg is fired anytime soon unless things go *really* off the rails. He'll likely get a chance to coach the team when it's theoretically healthy to get a better grasp on how his system works with this young core together, especially Markkanen, LaVine and Dunn, the return in the Jimmy Butler trade. Elsewhere, Brooks seems like the best bet to be fired if his Washington Wizards continue to flounder. The Wizards dropped to 1-6 after another ugly loss Tuesday, this time to the Memphis Grizzlies. Washington entered the season with high hopes, but it has been nothing but losses, bad defense and teammates sniping. While Brooks [reportedly](https://sports.yahoo.com/sources-wizards-coach-scott-brooks-franchise-support-despite-1-5-start-055650344.html) isn't on the hot seat yet, that may change if things don't turn around. The Thibs situation is tough to figure out given the Jimmy Butler saga. Thibs has been getting booed at home and there have been ugly performances, but Minnesota has also had a couple of impressive showings. Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor would have to make the decision here because Thibs is both president and coach, and this may not be resolved before the Butler situation. The Thunder are showing signs of life, which is good news for Donovan. As for Walton, the Lakers are 2-5 and LeBron James could grow impatient if the struggles continue. Bailing on Walton so early would be brash, but it's LeBron and it's the Lakers. __Play and win:__ [Free to enter, easy to play contests](https://betchicago.chalkline.com/games)2018-10-31T12:22:30.989Z2018-10-31T08:22-04:00