Good on the Bulls for running and pressuring a tired and not-that-good Indiana team, eventually putting them away at home. Rose was spectacular, and Noc had a great game: somehow finding a frontcourt opponent he could blow by towards the lane, and taking advantage of it.
Every win (no matter my quibbles with the long-term perspective) thus far this season has been huge, because I fear they'll need the cushion as this trip goes ike the others. Real tough games, and even some of the easier ones are the second of a back-to-back.
And Vinny is still playing small lineups. Lineups with Aaron Gray and Noc as the front court. Lineups with Aaron Gray with any combination. A finishing kick was starred by Rose/Gordon/Hughes/Noc/Gooden...but can that be counted on?
It's not just a Vinny problem, the young bigs aren't doing the job. It's Tyrus one night, Noah the next, and sometimes neither. But it takes both sides to get it turned around. Tyrus played 6 minutes in the first half, and didn't do much outside of 3 rebounds. But he does need at least a second stint in the game. The same thing happened to Noah last outing. Both players are having bad starts to the season, but they should have earned (yes...they've had success in the past. I swear.) a status beyond 'matchup' player.
Noc is getting ran out there for the last 15 minutes of every game, and Aaron Gray stinks. Sure, at the end of the 3rd quarter the dreaded (by me) Noc/Gray frontcourt was part of a positive lineup, but that happened to be the time Rose hit two 3-pointers in addition to his other usual brilliance. Noc/Gray should never be out there, and Noc/Gooden works only when Noc is on. Otherwise the defense and rebounding deficiencies will kill them.
I'm not worried yet, it's not like Vinny has shown inflexibility, and neither Thomas or Noah have forced his hand. Just...I'm hoping that Vinny hasn't seen this and figures it's "working". Because it won't on this road trip. And I'd rather get creamed while seeing Thomas/Noah struggle, as at least we can learn how deep that problem truly is.