clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Everyone loves Thibs, though hopefully not the training staff later

Taking advantage of the break for some quick (and, I admit, not entirely useful) evaluation. This post from Behind the Arc (thanks to reader 'mbmorganjr' for finding it) spells out everyone's game quite nicely so far: upticks for Noah and Rose, rise of Taj, slight fall from Luol Deng. And most importantly (obviously): big improvements on a team basis. Basketball-Reference has the Bulls as it's most surprising team relative to their projections so far this season.

One thing that isn't mentioned though is the minutes thus far. From last year to this (so far):

Rose - 36.8mpg -> 37.7
Noah - 30.1 -> 38.0
Deng - 37.9 -> 38.6
Taj - 26.9 -> 27.8

That's an increase for everyone, and in the case of everyone except (maybe?) Rose, each of those players have injury histories to consider. As ChicagoNow noted last week, Deng's in danger of over-use with the staff's reliance on him being both the starting SF and many times the backup PF in small lineups. And then there's the news about Taj Gibson from today.

Not that Thibodeau should be faulted for this. As we've seen with previous administrations, simply playing one's best players isn't anything to be taken for granted (though Vinny was alright at that, too). But it is something to keep an eye on. I'm liking everything with his tenure so far, but you'll notice that any glowing article on Thibodeau (and ESPNChicago had one today about his relationship with Kobe Bryant) references his work ethic first and foremost. That's fantastic, of course, just hopefully not something he expects out of his players at the expense of the big picture.

I guess it's more practical to simply say this: Get well soon* Carlos Boozer.  If you read anyone suggest that there may be a potential drawback to his return (like it hurts the chemistry, or Taj Gibson's future place in the hall of fame) consider at least the relative breather it'll be giving to the Bulls frontcourt. And also him being really good and stuff. This start from the Bulls has been without him, and the most exciting part of it is getting Boozer on board to sustain and grow it further.

*(though I don't need any injury 'updates' outside of when he's actually returning)