The Chicago Bulls "we don't need you" tour!
Is it too early to begin a campaign promoting Kirk Hinrich for the NBA's sixth-man award? He produced 15 points and 7 assists off the bench in the Bulls' season-opening victory over Milwaukee.
At this point, one day into the regular season, Hinrich's only real competition is teammate Ben Gordon, who scored 18 on Tuesday. The race is wide open, since last year's winner, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili, is supposed to miss the first two months of the season with a foot injury.
And since the Bulls are 1-0, there is no reason to change the starting lineup for Friday's trip to Boston. So expect to see Thabo Sefolosha back at two guard against the Celtics.
No, of course there'd be no change. Why try to get better? As is recent Bulls tradition, the goal isn't to get the team better, but to get Kirk Hinrich better.
It gives Hinrich a break in defending the other team's most dangerous guard, allows him to play the point when Rose is out of the game, and supplies Sefolosha with some built-in quality minutes.
Giving away precious Rose-time to Thabo is not worth it, since he stinks and all(until proven otherwise), and a goal IS to get Derrick Rose better. Besides, when Hinrich enters the game for Thabo (and then when Gordon enters for Rose), HInrich's still guarding the most dangerous guard.
Just start Gordon, and then Hinrich can sub for either him or Rose. Or at least after an offseason of telling anyone who'd listen that Gordon was merely 'a sixth man' who didn't deserve the money he wanted, keep him as the sixth man? When Thabo was named starter, Gordon was simply pushed down the line with no regard to his prior role, which was exactly what I feared would happen.
Not good for the Gordon camp. He basically has to play outstanding, but not to the point where the Bulls win. Otherwise he's the 7th or 8th man, and that's not even considering what happens when Larry "I'm tall like Thabo" Hughes comes back.
Coming next Monday at Orlando: "we need Thabo to disrupt the rhythm of Pietrus"