The Sun-Times reported Tuesday afternoon (hattip to 'Big D' in the comments) that Skiles is considering starting Joe Smith ahead of Tyrus Thomas (who else would it be?). Quote the Skiles:
There's no direct accusation by Skiles on Tyrus, and perhaps it means he's learned to quit that. Not that I would care if he did call out Thomas. I was at the game and didn't notice any Tyrus malfeasance, but it doesn't mean it didn't happen. I'm pretty sure he didn't allow Josh Howard to go bananas in his opening stint, but there could've been another mental error on Thomas' part.
It's shouldn't be a benchable offense however. I don't care about Skiles' media mindgames, I just care about the minutes. Not that I don't want Tyrus to ultimately become a smarter player, but how about Skiles letting him play through it and coaching him for once, instead of just yanking him? After not seeing any action after the opening 7:24 against Dallas, Tyrus may now likely be behind Smith, Noc, Noah, and heck probably Deng (in the tiny-ball lineup) at the 4.
And for what, to teach yet another lesson? Skiles should be focused on winning games, not teaching lessons (especially when the development usually boils down to 'try harder, guys'). But that'd imply his job is on the line, and maybe Pax has told him it's not.
It should be though. They need to win a lot of games, quickly. And playing Tyrus more helps that. And long-term, if this team goes anywhere it will depend more on the second overall pick than the ultimately replaceable coach.
Paxson needs to fire Skiles or trade Thomas, and I wouldn't want to trade Thomas unless it's for somebody good, and this can't help the ol' trade value. And a trade now is an admitted mistake by Paxson, which is something I doubt he wants to do this early in Thomas' career.
The papers have been pretty accurate in 'guessing' these lineup changes, but lets hope it's not actually happening. Joe Smith is doing fine when given the time, but he was a DNP on Tuesday due to old-man knees, and now he'll be in the starting lineup?
The lineup tinkering is as unnecessary as ever, and since Skiles has used incredibly small sample sizes before to justify these things, let it be known (not that any tinkering helps if the best players are bad) that the Bulls have looked better since Thomas' return to the starting lineup. But perhaps Skiles is micromanaging even further, and letting 7 minutes supercede that.