Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg will have to decide soon whether to emphasize making the playoffs or developing young talent, writes Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago. Chicago is coming off a terrible week, losing four straight games and slipping to 10th in the East. Hoiberg continues to experiment with different combinations, playing everyone but Nikola Mirotic in the first half of each game.
Last month’s five-player trade that sent Taj Gibson and Doug McDermott to Oklahoma City clouded the team’s direction, Goodwill writes, with newly acquired Cameron Payne now the team’s third “point guard of the future” since Dwyane Wade signed last summer. “We’re doing everything we can to compete to win, at the same time we have some young guys we wanna get on the floor. It’s a balance,” Hoiberg said. “It’s guys, we want to get them out there and see how they play then make a decision in the second half.”
There’s more from the Central Division:
- The Pistons have climbed back to .500, sparked by the insertion of Tobias Harris into the starting lineup, notes Aaron McMann of MLive. Harris scored 28 points Saturday against the Knicks and helped Detroit build a comfortable early lead. “He came out really aggressive,” said teammate Marcus Morris. “It was good to have him back in the starting lineup. We know what he can do. We know how well he can score the ball. So, it’s not really surprising to us.”
- The Bucks have named Steve Brandes president of their new D-League affiliate, the team announced on its website. The Oshkosh, Wisc., franchise will begin play next season.
- At age 37, Metta World Peace has assumed the role of a mentor with the young Lakers. But the former Ron Artest still has strong regrets about the effect he had on the Pacers almost 13 years ago, writes Mark Montieth of NBA.com. Artest was suspended for the season after charging into the crowd in Detroit on November 19, 2004, to confront a fan. That effectively killed Indiana’s title chances and led to the breakup of a promising young team. “We were supposed to win a ring together,” World Peace recalls. “Everything revolved around me, because I was unstable. That’s what I feel bad about to this day. That’s something I can never, ever forgive myself for. It’s something I have to recognize. We were on our way. [GM] Donnie [Walsh] put a helluva team together. I wanted to win a championship here. That was a big thing to me. And to Reggie [Miller]. At my most unstable point, it was the end of Reggie’s career.”