Since the Bulls latest back-to-back sweep, Bulls observers have gone through the 'hmm, Thibs is sure playing these guys a lot' and the 'this is ridiculous, he's playing them too much' stages. Now it's apparently the 'calm down all y'all back in stage two' stage.
In the immediate post-Pistons-game reaction in the BaB comments (always dangerous, I admit), there was some scrutiny of the Bulls media corps for not pressing Tom Thibodeau in the scrum about playing the starters with the game in hand. I reasoned that it's not like it's a new issue, and they're probably tired of being shot down by Thibs, who's confident in his style due to his success, and rightfully so.
And now instead we get this piece from the Trib's KC Johnson about how Thibs is just like everyone else. The Cliff'sNotes version:
- Everybody worth a damn plays a lot. Maybe a little less than Rose and Deng do, but those two are young, so fudge the math a bit.
- You know who else played a lot of minutes? MICHAEL JORDAN. His coach? PHIL JACKSON. So there.
- Rose and Deng are cool with it.
- Brian Scalabrine calls the entire idea 'laughable'. (coach on the floor, indeed!)
There is also actual good stuff in there about how Thibs manages his off-days and shootarounds, and appropriate comparison of the Thibs-assisted and lockout-scheduled '99 Knicks.
The tone wavers between 'Thibs knows best' and 'just stop asking', which is appropriate I suppose. It's not like if Rose and Deng are tiring by the playoffs, and someone on the frontcourt is hurt again, that we'll all be happy to say 'I told you so' when referencing this strategy.
But it's definitely valid to question specific situations where some rest would be better, even if we recognize the Thibs method and the realities of the NBA.
Coincidentally, some injury follow-ups (and other stuff)!
- The Bulls didn't practice and neither Rose or Thibs commented, but 'someone with knowledge of the situation' told the Sun-Times that Rose's elbow is sore but has mobility. No indication either way on Friday night in Orlando.
- What was apparently buried was an update on Rip Hamilton's groin injury. Courtesy of a heads-up commenter, from CSNChicago:
"First quarter was good; I think just adrenaline. Second quarter, I felt a little pull, but there was no way that I was getting off the court. So I’ve just got to ice it down, get treatment, stim [electronic stimulation]," said Hamilton, who described his groin as "sore" after the game.
- It's from a Pistons perspective, but a cool breakdown of the Thibodeau defense in action.
- Something that sparked my interest over at Mavs Moneyball, about how the Mavericks have filled the back-end of their roster with failed prospects , and , and the possible motives including future trade-fodder. I'm often curious why the Bulls don't go this route, or maybe even younger players to stash in the D-League. They are stashing Mirotic in Europe, of course, and every roster's different, but it's of note that the Bulls prefer to stay at the minimum required roster and using pseudo-coaches who aren't NBA-caliber players. No, I'm not sold on John Lucas though (because?) he's shot the three extremely well.
- Random note from the business end of the Org., from ESPNChicago's Jon Greenberg.
Mike Reinsdorf changes Bulls' biz structure, hiring Susan Goodenow (from Red Sox) as VP Branding/Comm. John Viola promoted 2 VP Corp Sales....Goodenow, Viola, Irwin Mandel, Steve Schanwald & Keith Brown make up new Exec Committee. Michael Reinsdorf is Pres/COO.
You may recall Irwin Mandel as the Bulls salary cap guru, and Schanwald for this. I'd say they have some obvious changes to make on the marketing/branding end, but then realize I'm not the typical target audience.