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Last night's opener was the first battle in the GarPax vs. Thibs experiment

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Because of the nearly identical rosters, Bulls fans will get to see if Jerry Reinsdorf bet on the right horse

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Jerry Reinsdorf placed a bet this season on "his guys".  After the coach and front office had reached their tipping point, he was faced with the decision of who he should side with. Whether it be out of loyalty, to maximize profits, because he thought it would be best for the team, or something else, Jerry bet on his front office, and gave GarPax control to do whatever they wanted to fix the situation.

After Jerry decided he was rolling the dice with GarPax, those in the Bulls' 'circle of trust' made sure to use whatever power they had to turn Bulls fans against the guy he now wanted to lose, Tom Thibodeau.

The most transparent form of Bulls propaganda came from their announcers, Stacey King and Neil Funk, who have shown a pattern of dumping on good players that management dislikes and intends to cut (ex. Ben Gordon, Nate Robinson) and hyping up those in the Bulls' circle of trust (ex. Kirk Hinrich).  The announcers are probably put in a very difficult position, since there is now ample evidence that to secure a long term position with the Bulls requires following company lines (something that Tom Thibodeau did not do well).

Beat reporters such as Sam Smith or KC Johnson have needed to cover up stories for the team.  As an example, KC Johnson sat on the John Paxson vs. Vinny Del Negro fight for two weeks instead of breaking it like a national sports journalist would.

Fans are not stupid.  We can connect the dots here that KC certainly wanted to break the story, but couldn't for some reason.  Probably because if he had, it would have angered Jerry Reinsdorf, and he would have used the Bulls' circle of trust against KC and his bosses at the Chicago Tribune.

This will be an interesting season for Bulls fans who can see through this charade, and quiet the noise of the Bulls' propaganda machine.  With the same rosters, what we have here is a pretty well controlled experiment.  GarPax thinks the coach and his insane minutes injuring all their players was the problem, while Thibs thinks he got the most he could out of a crappy bench.

In last night's game, we saw Fred Hoiberg do whatever GarPax wanted him to.  That included showing off their guys, who incidentally, Thibs chose to bury on his bench.  Their brilliant steal of the 2011 draft, Nikola Mirotic, was inserted into the starting lineup along with another one of their guys, Tony Snell.  Future circle of trust inductee, Doug McDermott, also held a featured role on the team.

Hoiberg was also quick to sub guys in and out in favor of Thibs' preference of playing his veterans through entire quarters.  Hoiberg's light, friendly demeanor as "the Mayor" stands in pretty stark contrast to Thibs, cast as equal parts genius and curmudgeon.

This season, we get to see who was right.  Was Thibs crazy, stubborn, and just plain wrong about how to coach this team?  Or was he given a bench so poor that he did the best he could with very limited talent?  Jerry has bet on GarPax.  This writer is placing his bet on Thibs.

Whoever's right, it's going to make for a very entertaining season.