Friday, November 13, 2009

Bulls Links (Taj, MJ, Kirk, Rose)

Taj Gibson Is Nice Edition To Chicago Bulls' Starting Lineup
Taj Gibson #22 of the Chicago Bulls leaps to block a shot by Hakim Warrick #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center on November 3, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Bucks 83-81. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls are struggling. There is no doubt about that.

I do not believe it has anything to do with Tyrus Thomas being out. I really don't think he makes the Bulls that much better. I'm not saying that he wouldn't help, but I just don't think it's hurting the Bulls as much to have him out.

What I do like about Thomas being out is that it is allowing Taj Gibson to get more playing time. I think he can develop into a great piece for the Bulls rotation and will provide the Bulls executives with enough to feel safe trading away Thomas.

Both Gibson and Thomas have the same skillsets. They are both long, lanky, undersized power forwards. Neither are a tremendous asset on the offensive end, but I believe the ceiling is higher for Gibson than it is for Thomas.

Predict the Bulls record this season --------->

Maybe the only non-hater LeBron link you will see in this space ...

LeBron wants all players to surrender 23

Saying he is willing to initiate the movement, LeBron James would like to see any NBA player who wears No. 23 to choose another number as homage to Michael Jordan.

Bulls veterans Salmons, Hinrich struggling

Through eight games, the Bulls are a respectable 4-4. That's not great, not bad and about where they were expected to be considering the issues they had heading into the regular season.

The biggest question marks were supposed to be Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, and the givens were supposed to be John Salmons, Brad Miller and Kirk Hinrich.

Opponents limiting Derrick Rose's attacking style

Late Wednesday night in Toronto, Derrick Rose uttered the following in such a matter-of-fact manner that it almost downplayed the severity of its importance.

"There's no room to drive," Rose said.

Anyone who has watched the Bulls' first eight games has noticed Rose isn't attacking the rim with the same regularity as last season. He has had flashes, no doubt: The fourth quarters at home against the Bucks and visiting the Cavs come to mind.

And Rose's numbers -- 13.8 points per game, 5.6 assists, 45.2 percent shooting -- actually aren't that far from his Rookie of the Year averages of 16.8 points, 6.3 assists and 47.5 percent shooting.

But first, Rose suffered a tendon injury in his right ankle that limited his preseason participation to one game and affected his game conditioning. Now, defenses clearly are playing him more aggressively this season.

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