Chicago Bulls intrigue: Taj Gibson or Tyrus Thomas?
Coach Vinny Del Negro said not to read anything into Taj Gibson starting over Tyrus Thomas in Monday's exhibition loss to the Magic despite Thomas returning from his sore right hip the previous game with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
But another chapter unfolded Thursday when Gibson remained with the first unit during the final practice day before Friday's final exhibition against the Wizards.
Del Negro obviously could change that at Friday's morning shootaround. But Thursday's lineup, confirmed by several people, lends credence to the thought the Bulls could consider starting Gibson in the Oct. 29 opener.
Approached by a reporter following practice, Thomas politely declined to discuss the situation, smiling as he waved off a question.
But Monday, Thomas passionately stated his reasoning for why he should be the starting power forward.
The Chicago Bulls Are Better Off Without Ben Gordon, Without a Doubt
Believe me, I know what incredulous stares are greeting the title of this article.
I guarantee you a vast majority of those disbelieving glances are from non-Bulls fans.
I have never witnessed a player that was so over-valued by non-fans of the team that that player played for, and it's a fact I need to call attention to.
There is a reason the Bulls let Ben Gordon walk to an inter-division rival without so much as a counter-offer. Gordon's selfish, monopolizing style of basketball no longer gels with the new direction Vinny Del Negro is taking this team under the leadership of Derrick Rose.
Ben Gordon is what I like to call a "SportsCenter Hero," a player who is capable of putting up 50 on any given night, and does so on an often enough basis to make SportsCenter one or two nights a week.
I am not denying that Ben Gordon is an incandescent scorer who hit some big shots for the Bulls in his time there. How could I, because that's all most were exposed to on SportsCenter every night.
However, it was the nights Ben Gordon wasn't on fire that most didn't see on SportsCenter that really killed the Bulls last year. Only the diehard Bulls fans got to witness those "gems."
I said the same thing in my Bulls Season Preview -
* With BG in Detroit, where will the points come from?
I'm not the first person to ask/answer this question, so I don't claim to be offering anything new in this space. Losing BG surely hurts, as I've said before: he is an incredible scorer, and probably the Bulls best player for the last few years. But for everything he got us on the offensive end, he cost us the almost-the-same with bad shots and terrible defense.
Replacing BG with Salmons in the starting line-up should be looked at as an upgrade. Salmons is over the groin injury that slowed him last season, and has an entire pre-season and training camp to get into the flow of the Bulls' system. He is better suited to play off Rose than BG. BG was an offensive black-hole, but Salmons should be better at letting Rose handle the rock and create shots for him, rather than needing the ball in his hands.
Best News of the Day! ...
Bulls' Rose practices, may play tonight
After being listed as day-to-day for nearly three weeks with a lingering injury to his right ankle, Bulls point guard Derrick Rose finally returned to the practice court Thursday.
Rose participated in about 40 minutes of the Bulls' 2Â½-hour session at the Berto Center, taking part in contact and non-contact drills.
''I felt way better,'' Rose said. ''I could have practiced the whole practice, but they told me they didn't want me sore [today].''
If he doesn't suffer any setbacks, Rose appears to be on target to play Thursday in the Bulls' regular-season opener against the San Antonio Spurs.