If the Bulls are accused of doing little, they say even less. But there were some nuggets that came out of the opening of training camp for the 2015-16 season on Monday:
No starting lineup announcement
New coach (!) Fred Hoiberg didn't take the bait on announcing any starters, saying that he'll assess things in the preseason. For as many expectations as we've heaped on Hoiball (hey, it was a long offseason!), this is also a very veteran team with an established hierarchy that a rookie coach may not want to disturb right away.
So will Pau be a stretch 5? Hoiberg mentions pick-and-roll and playing out of the post. Will Mirotic unleashed as a small-ball 4? He's mentioned as a '3 or 4' by Hoiberg. As with a lot of things, I think Fred Hoiberg's offense will be a lot more insightful to actually see in games than hear about in quotes.
Former coach (!) Tom Thibodeau was mentioned too, with Derrick Rose saying he expects a more 'relaxed' atmosphere now that players will appreciate. As usual, I think Joakim Noah summed things up well.
Noah: "I have nothing bad to say about Thibs. We had a lot of success under him. We've all grown as players. But this is a new chapter."— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) September 28, 2015
The Bulls announced 3 signings in preparation for camp. Jordan Crawford was someone reported last week, and he's, um...been in the NBA. The other two are:
- Jake Anderson, a Chicago (and ISU) guy who I'm not sure played organized ball last season
- Marcus Simmons, who played last year in the D-League after a 4-year career at USC (yes, Tim Floyd)
Dunleavy's backeotomy and other injury updates
Mike Dunleavy was there after it was announced Friday he'll miss 8-10 weeks following back surgery. He wasn't definitive in even that timeline, leading some there to speculate that it could be an even longer recovery period.
At least the rest are sorta-healthy. OK, except Taj. But everybody else!
power forward Taj Gibson is hopeful to be back on the floor for the regular-season opener on Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Bulls general manager Gar Forman said the Bulls would be cautious with Gibson during training camp after the veteran had left ankle surgery in June.
"I hope so," Gibson said, when asked about possibility of playing in first regular season game. "I've been feeling good the last couple weeks. Just getting back in game shape. I really haven't been able to run for three months so these last couple weeks have been really tough, but it's been a learning process and just taking it slow."
Aside from Dunleavy and Gibson, Forman also noted that no player will have a minutes restriction to start the season.