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It’s easy to give a head coach a pass when multiple key players on his team are injured. But once they return to action? And then go ahead and play for a while? Then increased attention shifts not just on the team, but also on the head coach to make the most of the health-filled opportunity. Here’s the Chicago Sun-Times with some Bulls discussion:

There is nothing set in stone that this is absolutely Fred Hoiberg’s last year coaching the Bulls.

The Sun-Times confirmed that over the weekend.

What can’t be denied, however, is the growing whispers coming from atop that the next month will be crucial for Hoiberg even finishing out the rest of this season in that coaching seat.

The Saturday debut of Lauri Markkanen was a critical first step in that evaluation process, as the second-year player was sidelined throughout the first 23 regular-season games, recovering from a right elbow injury suffered the first week of training camp.

Once Hoiberg gets the remaining injured pieces back in Kris Dunn (left knee) and Bobby Portis (right knee), there needs to be results. Wins and losses will carry weight for Hoiberg in his fourth season, but not as much as this group showing some serious forward strides in development and quickly.

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