More on Skiles and his star pupil

Beyond today's pot-shot gem, there were other words from Skiles on Tyrus Thomas.

It's no stretch to identify Thomas as the player who could do the most to make the Bulls a championship contender. They were a different team when Thomas brought his off-the-charts athleticism to the floor, as evidenced by the Bulls' 26-5 record in games when the 6-foot-9 forward played at least 15 minutes.

"The guy gets in the game, dunks a couple balls, everyone gets (excited)," coach Scott Skiles said. "I do, too, because I agree there are only a handful of guys that can jump like that and block shots like he can. But we also are dependent on the scheme we run and everybody being on the same page. He's getting there."

Skiles suggested Thomas still needs to get in better shape, though he's taken a step forward from where he was at the start of his first training camp. The Bulls wanted Thomas to build more strength in his legs to avoid the tendinitis he felt during the Orlando summer league in July.

"He's still learning what it takes to be a great player and all that," Skiles said. "Some of the things that are weaknesses in his game, he needs to turn that around. He needs to be more consistent."

Thomas figures to have the best chance to start at power forward this season, but it's not a sure thing. The Bulls could also use Noah, Andres Nocioni or veteran addition Joe Smith.

"That spot is up for grabs between a few guys," Skiles said. "He'll have equal opportunity to earn it just like everyone else will."

Emphases mine.

I guess the big 'news' is that McGraw believes Tyrus is the frontrunner for the starter's job. Despite 'equal opportunity' talk from Skiles, we know that if anything that 'opportunity', if given in the first place, lasts until the first turnover. But it's interesting to hear from someone that it's a possibility, anyway. I am actually not too hung up on Tyrus starting, at least until he proves he can cut down on fouls and turnovers. But he needs minutes, and maybe minutes with the best players is best for him and the team.

The one quote about being 'dependent on the scheme' from Skiles did irk me though. I long for a day when the Bulls are dependent on talent, and the scheme supplements it, not supplants it.

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