As you all know, Hinrich's out for 3 months after tearing a ligament in his thumb during Friday's game.
It's a bad blow, because for all the talk about the many guards on the team, Kirk was one of three who was actually good. And also it shelves the immediate trade talk. With this 3-month estimate, hopefully Hinrich proves himself to be healthy before the trading deadline in late February, for the added options if anything.
So with Hughes still out (and this could all go to hell when he comes back) there's been a lot of Rose-Gordon. It's not running perfectly, but especially with the way Gordon's playing, it's great to see Rose having a threat next to him.
Is it a case where they're working as an ideal combination, with Rose handling the ball and Gordon playing off of it? No. It's more like they take turns attacking the defense with the ball. It's still effective since they're both talented scorers, but hopefully with more time they can help eachother in more ways than indirectly commanding attention.
And beyond seeing those two, this weekend has been encouraging for the entire team. They blew out the Suns in their best performance of the season, and simply were out of gas (and got LeBronned) after hanging close with the Cavs. The defense has been more active, and it helps that Tyrus and especially Noah are getting out of their early-season dregs. Even Thabo has chipped in on that end since he was mercifully banished from the starting lineup. One place where the Gordon/Rose myturn/yourturn offense does work well is off of turnovers, as they're both going right to the rim, and I for all his ballhandling issues, Gordon is actually very dangerous on the break.
So while they'd be better if Kirk was available, his absence could've hurt a previous Bulls team much worse than this one. Rose is going to play a lot of minutes, and BG/Thabo/Hughes can handle the backup PG duties in the spot stretches he doesn't. What a lot more playing time for Gordon does mean (and remember, just last week he was the 4th guard into the game) is that Rose doesn't have the responsibilty of carrying the entire offense as much...as for the first time in his career, Gordon is starting a season firing and hitting. Even passing a bit (highest AST% of his career) and defending too. I look forward to seeing if he can learn to more actively play with Rose....and maybe deferring a bit more in the 4th. If he wants to help out the most he can, he'll have to learn there's no shame in being the wingman to Derrick Rose. In fact, it's the only way he has a chance of staying beyond this season.