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Bulls Change Starting Lineup, Not Much Changes

Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg decided to change up his starting lineup for Wednesday night’s game against the Boston Celtics by inserting Taj Gibson and taking out Nikola Mirotic. Unfortunately for the Bulls, familiar problems plagued them as they lost their third consecutive game, 105-100.

Chicago struggled again in the fourth quarter on both ends of the floor, and Gibson barely saw the court in the final frame despite taking over as a starter. Only a personal explosion from Jimmy Butler, who scored 17 of his career-high 36 points in the fourth, kept the game from becoming a blowout by the end, and Butler was heated after the game:

Some may read this as Butler taking a shot at a specific teammate, and maybe it is. But either way, it’s not a great sign for a Bulls team that hasn’t looked particularly good all season long, despite some nice wins and a decent 11-8 record.

Butler was also upset about not playing at the beginning of the fourth quarter when the Celtics went on their game-deciding run, but he played 39 minutes anyway. Former coach Tom Thibodeau was criticized for riding Butler too hard by often playing him entire second halves, and Hoiberg wanted to get his star a quick break. It’s understandable for Butler to be peeved, but it was also understandable for Hoiberg to give him a break.

Chicago will have a chance to end its losing streak against the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday.

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