There were a whole bunch of quotes from Tyrus from the interview session about wanting to start in one of K.C.'s trib pieces.
"I don't even think it should be questionable from what I've contributed to this team last season and what I did throughout camp," Thomas said. "But ( Vinny Del Negro's) the guy who makes the decisions. Whatever decision he makes, I have to go play."
"I think that was more Scott Skiles' deal my rookie year," Thomas said.
"I'm a veteran now. I know what I have to do to be a better player and
help my team win. If it is a motivational factor, it's not needed."
I presume these quotes came prior to the game as Tyrus didn't do anything to make his case over Taj during the game as they had similar box scores on the night, and Taj looked like the more aggressive and assertive player from the half of basketball that I got to watch.
Vinny also downplayed the decision :
"I want (Thomas) to get some practice in," Del Negro said. "It's
nothing. Taj has worked hard and played well. He's young. We're just
trying to get him as much experience as we can. That's all.
I don't know how much I buy that. You wanted to get him time because he's earned it not because he needs it to develop. Look at James Johnson's 11 minutes played last night for evidence of that.
Will Taj start over Tyrus this year? If the Bulls start Joakim Noah, then I don't think it's a bad decision. I think the Bulls should start him in a Chris Duhonesque way where he's the first one out of the starting lineup, but limiting the minutes where Noah and Tyrus are on the floor together is a good thing.
A rotation where Gibson plays for six minutes, then Tyrus comes in, and Noah plays for 8-9 then Brad comes in would work a lot better for separating the two than playing them both to start the game and third quarter. In that scenario, you're probably sticking with both for at least six minutes which gives them a minimum of 12 together on the floor.
Alternatively, the Bulls could avoid this problem by starting Miller and Thomas together. The question becomes "are the Bulls going to approach the starting lineup on individual or team merit?". The obvious answer is team success, and if that's the case, then Tyrus + Joakim is not the way to go in the starting lineup.
I think Joakim deserves to start more than Tyrus, but Miller deserves to start more than Gibson, so you could make a case to go in either direction. All things being equal, I'll error to the side of Joakim and Gibson starting together simply because both players are likely to wear the uniform next year while Miller and Tyrus are both free agents.