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Death of the early season optimism (Open Game Thread # 7: Bulls at Phoenix Suns)

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Judging by this whirlwind week of potential lineup changes culminating in Skiles' decision to bench Tyrus for El Flopso, I have to wonder what Paxson is thinking. Because his coach is basically saying this team's no good, and their 'core' is never going to get them anywhere.

Just look at these quotes alone, highlighted by calling his team 'fragile':

We've over-dribbled a little bit. We've been tentative on our shots. Noce generally is not tentative. We're hoping he opens the floor more to get the other guys going than anything else.

No, Noce definitely isn't tentative, he's a chucker. Which is perfect coming off the bench, but that's a lesser issue.

What gets me more is that Skiles has seen enough evidence in six games to undo any optimism we had that this season will be any improvement over last year. That Deng and Gordon would mature and improve, that Tyrus would become a force. It's all been shot down. Already.

Where Paxson has made all indications (by his non-movement and offering contract extensions) that this team would improve internally, Skiles has called it out as bullshit.

The real question is whether he's right: If Hinrich, Deng and Gordon really need a wild-eyed Argentine to get them going, then they're not that good. If Tyrus Thomas can't start on this squad now, he's not really being counted on to be a major contributor.

The only way I'm behind this change is if it's for Phoenix (because of their poor rebounding and high-paced offense), and only Phoenix. That's definitely not happening (if anything it'll be several months), so this message means more than the result of tonight's game (9:30PM, TNT). They could come out hitting shots, or Noc will be flailing away on a late close-out while Marion hits his fifth three, or both. I hate what this change means for the team in the big-picture, whether it's a 'spark' or not.

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