Friday July 31st, 2015

Chicago Bulls center Pau Gasol told reporters Thursday that he thinks the team will play with “better flow” on offense under new coach Fred Hoiberg, according to ESPN's Jon Greenberg. 

“We have a lot of talent offensively, and I think we’ll play with better flow offensively with Fred,” Gasol said on a conference call on Thursday. “We’ll have more freedom to play in transition and explore our abilities as individuals and as a team. As long as we understand that defense wins championships and makes the difference, and make sure we don’t neglect that side, we should be fine.”

In June, the Bulls hired Hoiberg to replace former head coach Tom Thibodeau, whom the team fired a few days prior. Hoiberg is known for his fast-paced offensive system that involves an abundance of quick decision-making and three-point shooting, which is a stark contrast to the emphasis Thibodeau put on defense for the five seasons he coached in Chicago. Hoiberg hired long-time NBA assistant Jim Boylen to serve as the team's defensive specialist. 

SI Vault: How the Celtics landed Kevin Garnett and became relevant again

Gasol also said he is uncertain about whether or not Hoiberg will bench him or former Defensive Player of the Year Joakim Noah to achieve more of a balance on the court. Gasol averaged 18.5 points and 11.8 rebounds per game last season.

“It’s not that I see myself starting, I have to work and earn that,” he said. “I don’t take anything for granted because of the way I played last year, or how I think I played in the past.”

The Bulls lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2015.

- Kayla Lombardo

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.