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updated: 4/21/2017 6:19 AM

North: Bulls' Hoiberg out-coaching Celtics' Stevens

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  • Head coach Fred Hoiberg has his Chicago Bulls team poised to hand Boston its third straight loss in their NBA playoff series.

    Head coach Fred Hoiberg has his Chicago Bulls team poised to hand Boston its third straight loss in their NBA playoff series.
    Associated Press/file


No matter what time of the day or night you are reading this column, it's the right time to check out our surging Chicago Bulls.

I have written several columns on the Bulls and their troubles. There were plenty of complaints and blame to go around, from Fred Hoiberg to Dwyane Wade to Jimmy Butler to Nikola Mirotic to the front office of John Paxson and Gar Forman and even for Jerry Reinsdorf.

Miraculously, the Bulls did what they had to do to save the season! They made a trade of two solid soldiers, Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson, to the Oklahoma Thunder for a promising young point guard Cameron Payne, and two others.

But Payne, 22, was initially sent to the NBA-Developmental League with a minor foot injury, and has been in street clothes during the playoffs.

Oddly, the trade seemed to make a difference. It's the Bulls (2-0) who have turned on the switch, proving it by beating the No. 1 seed Boston Celtics in the first two games on the road.

The Washington Wizards also have a nice squad and are up 2-0 over the Atlanta Hawks, a team they have now beaten five straight times.

But the Bulls now have some steam and the Cleveland Cavaliers are in their sights.

The Bulls still have to get past the Celtics, and I'm not quite ready to write off Boston. If Boston can win Game 3 at the United Center, it's a series again.

The Bulls, I believe, are smelling a quick-and-painless playoff round, and are primed to move past the Celtics, who just don't match up well against them.

It's too late for Boston to check the waiver wires, and though I have always heard Brad Stevens is a bright young coach, maybe his system is better for college. His best player, Isaiah Thomas, is only 5-foot-9, (I think he's more like 5-7) and he just doesn't have enough around him to get the job done.

Honestly, Hoiberg is out-coaching Stevens, and people are saying it isn't any fault of Stevens, and the blame should fall on general manager Danny Ainge.

Stevens is a good guy and a media favorite, but he's 2-10 in the playoffs and that should fall on him and Ainge. And how about the way Stevens handled an obscene gesture by Marcus Smart in Game 2? It was on TV for all to see, yet when asked what would happen to Smart, Stevens said the league would address it, which they did with $25,000 fine.

But wait -- shouldn't the organization address it also?

I admit it's shocking for me to say, but right now Hoiberg is the better coach than Stevens, and the Bulls look more like the No. 1 seed than the Celtics.

• Follow Mike on Twitter @north2north. Check out his podcast Monday-Friday at, iTunes or audioboom. His column appears each Friday in the Daily Herald. For more, visit

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