Extended garbage time

With the Bulls all-but-officially eliminated from the playoffs, it's difficult to find a reason to watch the final 9 games of the season.

First of all, Boylan's still coaching:

Boylan doesn't think it's time to change the rotation in favor of the younger players...Even when the Bulls are officially eliminated from playoff contention, Boylan didn't sound as though he's planning to make drastic changes in playing time.

(There has been one drastic change: Chris Duhon's back in the rotation. Why? who knows!)

Whatever Boylan rambles, it at least looks like the team is starting the subtle, seductive dance of tanking. The first move being Drew Gooden being held out of Sunday's game with an abdominal strain, giving the start to Tyrus Thomas. Unlike Boylan's unintentional tanking, sitting guys with injuries makes sense. (although one guy who's been battling injuries all season, Luol Deng, is in a contract year, so I doubt he'll be sitting.)

So it's tempting to think if we see guys like Tyrus and Thabo getting more minutes (although they had 22 and 17 minutes respectively, so it's not quite free reign yet anyway) that playing out this string may actually teach us something about those two, Noah, and the team.

But sadly, this is not just a pointless stretch of games in terms of record, but also evaluation.

The Bulls will be phoning it in, not running plays on offense or giving an effort on defense, and it's likely they'll see a few opponents who will be doing the same. Heck, Curry and Chandler had a great stretch run together in a similar environment...it's a loosely-played style of basketball that's more towards the playground than professional end of the hoops spectrum.

If certain players thrive, it shouldn't be viewed with much encouragement. Not discouragement either, except perhaps at the idea that more sensible rotation decisions could've been made earlier when the games still mattered.

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