Can the Chicago Bulls make use of jumbo lineups?

Can the Chicago Bulls make use of jumbo lineups?

The Chicago Bulls have plenty of depth in the front court. One might say the depth even constitutes a log jam, and if they don't make a trade, they'll continue to have more quality players than minutes to give them. Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, Pau Gasol, and Nikola Mirotic. Seems like one guy to many for a typical big rotation, but the Bulls will want to get them all on the floor.

There have been plenty of suggestions that Taj Gibson can drop down to 20-23 minutes a game to make some room for Mirotic, but it doesn't feel like the Bulls are getting a lot of bang for their buck in that scenario. Not with Gibson or Mirotic.

In the end, three guys playing 32 minutes a night is all the front court minutes you get, and the Bulls have possibly four guys who could deserve that many [or more] minutes by the end of the season. Sure, guys can sacrifice, but that doesn't maximize the roster or development of your assets.

Chicago will need to wait to see what they have in Nikola, but the hope is that this is a problem. The hope is that he's good enough to worry about how to get him on the court. If he's not, the Bulls will be quite pleased with themselves for all the extra depth and not going into the season relying on Mirotic to play 30 minutes a night.

If he is then it's time to get creative about solutions. The most obvious answer? The jumbo lineup.

At first glance, the jumbo lineup doesn't seem like the greatest of ideas in an NBA era where teams are going smaller and faster all of the time.

In the past, it wouldn't have been an option because Chicago would have lacked the offensive skill to take advantage of their size.

Now? It has real possibility.

A few thoughts on why/how this could work:

#1: Mirotic is involved in any jumbo lineup. He provides the floor spacing in the jumbo lineup to keep the Bulls difficult to defend on the offensive end of the court.

#2: Pau Gasol plays in the jumbo lineup. He gives the Bulls someone who can score in isolation in the low post, pass well, and knock down deep mid range shots. This keeps the spacing on the court and puts a ton of pressure on the opponent defensively.

#3: Taj and Noah can defend any player in the NBA better than Mike Dunleavy. Sorry Mike, no offense. However, if we can afford to have Dunleavy on the floor than we can afford to play Mirotic in his place and have Taj or Noah take on Dunleavy's responsibility defensively (if not Mirotic himself).

If the Bulls go with a Mirotic, Taj, Gasol lineup then they potentially have three guys who can take guys in the low post and three guys who have at least deep mid range shots (with Mirotic extending even further). They'll hopefully be able to force all kinds of awkward defensive positions for their opponents and draw fouls.

If they Bulls go with Mirotic, Noah, and Gasol, they'll lose Gibson's offensive play, but Noah will crush opponents on the glass if defended by someone smaller and can still make all kinds of plays with the ball in his hands as we saw last season. He also scores well in the post when defended by smaller players.

Either scenario is most interesting for Chicago when surrounded by shooters and while Derrick Rose takes a breather. With the jumbo lineup out there, the ball has to run through the post. Kirk Hinrich, Doug McDermott, Nikola Mirotic, Pau gasol, and one of Gibson/Noah would solve two problems for Chicago.

It gets Mirotic on the floor and provides a creative solution to the lack of a second ball handler by creating an entirely post driven offense with three shooters surrounding two more interior players. Granted, Chicago could solve the same problem with Dunleavy in place of Mirotic, so it's not a necessity to go big, but the purpose is to get Mirotic some burn and possibly create some low post opportunities.

Chicago has had a history of bringing rookies along slowly, and may do that again this season. However, rookies should only be brought on slowly when there are better options ahead of them. If Mike Dunleavy's a better option than Nikola Mirotic then he's not nearly as good as we hoped.

The jumbo lineup likely only takes you so far though, if Mirotic is the real deal, the Bulls should be looking to maximize their shot at a title by making a trade.

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  • Your jumbo line-up would have problems guarding high schoring athletic wings at the small forward or shooting guard position. It is not clear who see starting or not at the small forward/big guard position with Butler. But the jumbo line-up seems aimed at the bench when Mirotic comes into the game since you mention Hinrich playing while Rose is on the bench. You refer to McDermott playing with this group as well and not Dunleavy.

    So I ask who is starting with Rose, Butler, Noah, Taj/Gasol? Are you assuming it is Snell? From past comments, I'm assuming it s not Snell who will be starting. If McDermott starts, then you should replace McDermott with Snell. Then there is somebody out there with the jumbo line-up who has the ability to guard an athletic scoring wing/shooting guard coming off the bench for an opposing team like Jamal Crawford, Manu Ginobili, Vince Carter, Tyreke Evans, or Terrence Ross. Maybe you are thinking that McDermott could do it, but I think Snell is more likely. I do not think Taj could guard these players and if you put Hinrich on them, then who guards the point guards out there?

    If Snell and Hinrich are out there with your jumbo line-ups, I think that could work and Dunleavy is the odd man out. Then we get to see what Mirotic has. And as you say, if he proves to be a key threat, the Bulls have a nice problem to address and may be able to get a really good wing player in a trade to free up room for more playing time.

  • Doug, as always, thanks for the interesting post. While I would agree with you that we may have too many players for a big rotation, I heard the FO saying many times that they plan on bringing Mirotic slowly to the rotation to enable him to adapt to the American culture, NBA and language. So, there is a likely possibility that his minutes stay at under 10 for his first year. If that's the case, it will lead to Gasol, Taj and Noah as the core bigs, with Mirotic coming on special situations for this year. But if Mirotic proves he is a special player and lights out shooter, Thibs may end up putting him on SF position for the additional minutes. And as you said, I don't think his defense will be any worse than Dunlevey.

  • In reply to BullsDynasty:

    10 min/game? He's not paid like a 10 min/game guy. Maybe 10 min in November, but I'd hope they can get him on the floor 20 mpg this year even with the log jam. There will be injuries with Gibson/Gasol/Noah, too, so there will be opportunities.

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    This is why I like reading your Bulls articles...You're not all about Derrick Rose.
    The hype on Nikola Mirotic is as lofty as that of Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and Dante Exum when I read about him from those who covered the Euro-league, and the Bulls execs. If that's the case, then it's time to trade Mike Dunleavy. It's not like Mirotic didn't play against grown men over the past 5 yrs. His game, and playing time will depend on how well he's able to defend, and rebound at the NBA level. I can see this huge lineup being utilized throughout the season with Mirotic playing the 3, Taj 4 and Pau 5. Or at times McDermot at 3, Mirotic 4, and Noah 5. Mirotic's ability to shoot and score from anywhere on the court will be huge for the team as he will demand defensive attention, and create open lanes for cutters like Rose, and Butler to take advantage of, and teams won't be able to pack it in the paint defensively due to his incredible shooting range. Lost in this is he's a good passing big man too. Memphis Zach Randolph, Nets Coach Lionel Hollins, and Cavs Coach David Blatt have nothing but praise and positive comments about his play.
    I haven't watched Euro-league ball and I've only seen him play against the Grizz once, but when opposing coaches rave about this kid, I tend to believe he's the Real-Deal. I just don't read too many scouting reports on a NBA prospect which pegs a player as a future NBA All Star, and he turns out to be a total bust, and when they are it's usually due to the mental makeup of that player, or the poor organization he's playing for.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    I don't think we have to run out and trade Mike Dunleavy. It's not like we'll get anything great in return. Dunleavy is versatile and can shoot, so we need him. Besides, Dunleavy is a 2/3 and Mirotic is a stretch 4. Maybe he slides to 3 in the jumbo lineup.

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    In reply to Granby:

    If Dunleavy is a 2/3 and Mirotic possesses the same skill-set as Dunleavy, why do we limit Mirotic to a stretch 4? He's more of a combo forward. Dunleavy was valuable to the team last season. (I'm only going by the eye test here) but it seemed like when Dunleavy's shot was going in the Bulls win, and when his shot was missing they would lose.
    I think it's best to trade him now while he has trade value. Either trade Dunleavy, or Mirotic for an athletic wing player who's a jack of all trades. I wouldn't trade Mirotic cause the wait for him is finally over, and I would hate to see him blow up on another team if he's as good as advertised.
    The Bulls have added scorers, but they also have too many spot up shooters and not enough athletic players on its' new & improved roster.

  • Mirotic is thought very highly of, and has played professional ball for a few years now. If he shows serious production ability pre-season and or early season then somebody has to go. Unless you believe one of Taj or Miro can play meaningful minutes at SF which personally I don't.

    Like others, I always used to wonder if Taj could play SF and kill in the post, but that just hasn't been the case. I doubt after all this time it suddenly happens now. If Nikola is legit then IMO Taj has to go. He does have value in trade and converting that into a viable SG is what needs to happen.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Exactly. I agree a shift to have Mirotic or Gibson at SF is not likely for more than a rare game or two. The speed and agility of a SF is not something that I see Gibson or Mirotic matching up with in most situations to their benefit. In an emergency or specific match-up then that is different.

    I think if Mirotic quickly proves he is an NBA-ready backup then keeping Gasol and Mirotic makes the most sense. There is a solid chance that Mirotic will need more time to develop his NBA game. But if he does not need that time, then Gibson could be on the trading block by the trade deadline in Feb 2015. Ideally, Chicago trading Gibson for a wing player would be ideal since Dunleavy is on his final year of his deal. Gibson is a proven commodity, so they could potentially get a solid player in return. Gibson + Dunleavy is about $11M in payroll, so it could be an upgrade opportunity if that happens. If not, then they keep Gibson in the backup role and give Mirotic more time.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I think Mirotic is going to be super legit. Euro-Ball is definitely a level up from college and he's consider to be one of the best coming from Europe. I'm sure its happened before, but can you think of any Euro players that were just complete busts? Even Bargani is still.....pretty good. He didn't meet expectations, but he has solid skills. Nocioni, Fernandez, Najara, Rubio, Berrera, Kirlienko, ....... Just guys off the top of my head from Europe who were/are legit contributors. If we have someone that stands out from the pack, I think its a pretty good sign he's going to be special.

  • So LITERALLY a triple-post offense, huh?

    I love both of the jumbo lineups in certain situations. Mirotic playing the 3, McDermott playing the 2 is just size size size everywhere. At least with the bigs, they can all move and do things traditional bigs typically cannot (elite passing for position, Noah's Magic Johnson impression, Mirotic's range) so this could potentially work very well with the right matchups.

  • Interesting post but I can't get past the basic premise that size without athleticism has trade-offs offensively and has limitations defensively.

    I can see that size in the post will help along with size that can shoot from the outside. But the limitations athletically may takeaway any benefits.

    If you're truly trying to do a jumbo package, it would have to be Gasol or Noah with Gibson, McDermott, Mirotic and Rose. You'd have 4 guys 6'8 or taller. In this package, you'd have Rose as initiating the offensive set or facilitating. Mirotic and McDermott are your outside floor spacers who should be in the post to take advantage of their mismatches. Gasol would be your deep post guy. Gibson can be used for a mid range shots, cuts in the lane and put back dunks.
    Defensively - you'd probably have Gibson defend the opposing team's 2 Guard and then McD on the 3, Mirotic on the 4 and Gasol on the 5. Gibson's defensive flexibility and ability to guard the opposing 2 guard the only way a jumbo package might become viable.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    McDermott is 6'6.25" and Taj is 6'7.75" so unless we have seven guys on the court and the extra 2 guys are Bairstow and Nazr I don't see how we have 4 guys 6'8 or taller.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    With our without shoes?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    McD is listed at 6'8 and Taj is listed at 6'9. I didn't realize I was going to be nitpicked for not providing their combine-without-shoes- heights.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    Anybody who know anything about the game knows that height means nothing. You do nothing in basketball with the top of your head. You can't shoot with it, can't pass with it, block shots, defend, steal the ball. Nothing. Wingspan and standing reach are what matter, not height, with or without shoes.

    Gibson has a 7'4" wingspan and a 9'2" standing reach. That is as long as most 7 footers. It's why he does quite well at C. He also has the foot speed and hands to guard 2's and 3's. He has guarded players like Lebron as well, or better, than anyone I've seen. He shuts down PFs, C's SF's and even SG's at times.

    Let's put it this way. H can guard any player in the entire NBA better than MDJ and the Bulls defense was good in minutes with MDJ playing SG and guarding SG's.

    And if you're going to list players heights without shoes, you have to list their opponents height without shoes, also... It's all relative.

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    You call it nitpicking, I call it being factually accurate.

    Maybe that is why Aggrey Sam regularly calls Taj a 6'11" power forward, he takes his inaccurately listed height of 6'9" presumes that is his real height, adds another 2" for shoes and rounds up. Of course, since he is now 6'11" we can now call him a 7 footer, just like Noah, who is actually only 6'10.5"

  • In reply to ripiceman:

    We've already scene that Taj can't even guard 3's let alone 2's.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I dont think its completely out of the question on Taj guarding 2's and 3's. Its not ideal but his length and athleticism give him a shot. His shotblocking ability and instincts would give any 2 guard pause driving or trying to shoot over him. Even if he gets beat to the basket, he recovers well and can influence a shot.

    Again - not ideal but for a "big lineup" stretch to have him function in this role is not a ridiculous notion.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    A scene is from a movie, but if you've watched Bulls games, you've SEEN that Taj has guarded plenty of 3's and 2's extremely well in just about every game. Same with Noah. One of the things that makes them great is their ability to effectively switch out on smaller G's on the perimeter and be very effective.

  • In reply to 5stringking:

    a scene could also be from a painting or a picture, and I've probably watched more Bulls games over my life than anybody on this site, I seldom if ever miss a game, and I have been watching them since the late 60's.

    Switching is one thing, a part of team defense, it doesn't prove that Taj(or Noah for that matter) can guard SF's and SG's on a regular basis. Anyone who watches the Bulls regularly knows that they can't and wouldn't make a scene out of arguing that they could. It would however, be quite the scene watching Thibs react to them guarding those positions on a regular basis.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If you've watched that much basketball you should be more knowledgeable. Like I said, Gibson has the wingspan and standing reach of a 7 footer. It's freakish. He was the longest player in his entire draft other than Hasheem Thabeet.

    And your entire tirade about factually correct height is a dumb one because every player in the league is listed at their height with shoes. So, it's all relative when talking about NBA players. Without shoes Taj is one half inch shorter than Dwight Howard and has the

    Yes, a scene can be from a painting or a picture but you still used the wrong word for your sentence.

  • In reply to 5stringking:

    His wingspan and reach were 2 of the main reasons that I was the only person in Chicago who picked Gibson as our draft pick before the draft, hows that for knowledge. I'll guarantee that you didn't.

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    In reply to ripiceman:

    I agree. Size w/o great athletes will have its' trade-offs mainly on getting back on the defensive end, and preventing fast breaks. We often talk about the offensive improvements the Bulls have made over the Summer, but it will come at a cost.
    How good of a defender will Derrick Rose be? How good of a defender will Doug McDermott, and Nikola Mirotic be? Can Tony Snell become a defensive force at SG? How well will Aaron Brooks adjust to Thibodeau's defensive system? Can any of these players other than Rose and Brooks handle defensive pressure put on them?
    It's going to be up to the Rooks to make a huge impact for the Bulls in order for this team to have a fighting chance of making it past the Conference semi-finals. This is why it's easy for Vegas to pick the Cavs as front runners to win the Conference, but if those Rooks can really play then they easily become the team to beat in the East.

  • The size is intriguing on offense and for rebounding, but we'd get killed defensively when playing speedy wings. You have to ask, who will guard LeBron?

    Jimmy Butler.

    That's why the jumbo lineup must include Butler. A lineup of Hinrich/Rose, Butler, Mirotic, Noah/Gibson, Gasol can match up with Cleveland VERY well, IMO. If Noah or Gibson (not sure about Mirotic) can get used to playing Love on the perimeter, this works.

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    In reply to Granby:

    The Bulls need to use their depth.
    LBJ is to be guarded by Butler AND Snell. Keep fresh legs on him at all times....tire LBJ out.
    Same with Love...Rotate Noah/Mirotic and Gasol/Taj on Love/Verajao. We will always have a better scoring and defending duo on the inside.
    Rose vs Kyrie....hmmm, I wonder how that will work out...LOL.

  • I was watching some games that Detlef Schrempf played in on NBA TV and I was struck by the similarities in his play to Mirotic both in style of play and abilities. Schrempf is probably the best comp I can think of for Mirotic's max potential as a very efficient 3rd scorer.

    Mirotic isn't athletic in terms of jumping ability, but he may have the lateral quickness combined with his length to eventually play acceptable defense against SF's eventually, especially with Thibs help. If he can then some of his liabilities as a PF like defensive rebounding become strengths as a SF. My hope is the Bulls see it that way as well even if they don't want to set that expectation publicly before Thibs even has a chance to work with him.

  • In reply to scotter:

    Schrempf is an interesting comparison. although he was listed as a SF for nearly all of his career. The thought has crossed my mind, however I hope that Schrempf would be the lower end for Mirotic, not the high end. He averaged between 15 - 19 ppg and 5-10 rpg during his 11 year prime. Schrempf was a good(sometimes very good) shooter, hopefully Mirotic is an elite shooter, especially from 3.

  • I was watching some games that Detlef Schrempf played in on NBA TV and I was struck by the similarities in his play to Mirotic both in style of play and abilities. Schrempf is probably the best comp I can think of for Mirotic's max potential as a very efficient 3rd scorer.

    Mirotic isn't athletic in terms of jumping ability, but he may have the lateral quickness combined with his length to eventually play acceptable defense against SF's eventually, especially with Thibs help. If he can then some of his liabilities as a PF like defensive rebounding become strengths as a SF. My hope is the Bulls see it that way as well even if they don't want to set that expectation publicly before Thibs even has a chance to work with him.

  • This is almost the perfect situation to keep the minutes for starters at about 30 per game. Minutes at the 3, 4, and 5 is 3 x 48 = 144. Now, take Mirotic, Noah, Gasol, Taj, Butler, and McDermott at those positions and you have 24 minutes each.

    Then you would have Rose, Hinrich, Brooks, Dunleavy, plus Butler and McDermott all getting minutes at the G positions. They should go into the playoffs as the most rested team in NBA history!

    It will take a lot of experimenting to see what works best. This also might be the best bench in history! Ought to be fun.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Yes, Bulls are deep as hell. If Mirotic and McDermott are good, this Bulls team may have to be in the conversation for most depth of all-time...

    Meaning that minutes should be reduced. Unless there are major injuries, there is no way anyone should average over 35 mgp this year.

  • While you give a far more detailed analysis, (one that is perfect for the dog days of summer) it is basically what has been said since we signed Gasol, the only way for Mirotic to get significant minutes is if he can putatively play small forward. Also, if Mirotic proves to be a good as advertised, somebody, likely Taj has to be traded for a better wing player.

    My concern(and Thib's also) is that any jumbo lineup will fare about as well as the Pistons did with their Smith, Monroe and Drummond lineup, which might have been the worst in the league defensively.

    If that lineup were to become a regular feature for Thibs then it would also necessitate Gasol not starting, another very interesting potential problem for preseason and beyond.

    In the final analysis, you are right, we almost have to hope to see that lineup, otherwise it means that Mirotic is not better than Dunleavy if not outright worse.

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    In reply to BigWay:

    I think Noah's minutes have to come down to about 32 per game. Gasol should play about 20. Taj about 24. Which leaves 20 for Mirotic. Thibs has to get out of the habit of playing his starters heavy minutes. We need our horses fresh for the derby.

  • It is tempting to think about a trade of Dunleavy, Bairstow, Snell, and maybe Smith, plus the Bulls' 1st rounder, for Afflalo or similar SG. It might be best to wait a while, tho, and see who is working and who is not.

    How in the world will the Bulls be able to re-sign Butler next season? Well, I guess that is next season.

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    In reply to rustyw:

    You are nuts. You did not watch summer league.
    Snell is better defender, and better 3pt shooter.
    Also, that is way too much talent to give away.
    Glad your name isn't Gar.

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    You're nuts if you're using Summer League play as a legitimate means of measuring anything.

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    If you're basing your opinion of a player on summer league then I'm glad you're name isn't Gar. I do hope you're right about Snell.

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    Hey, I hope Snell turns into another Afflalo-type player, and he's on the Bulls when he does it - but i would not bet a championship on it. That is why I wrote that it is best to see who is working and who is not, first. If Snell is better than Afflalo, the Bulls might hit another 3-peat!

    The Bulls have 11 guys who could merit decent minutes. But that would mean about 22 minutes per person per game. (5 positions x 48 minutes per position = 240 minutes). Almost everyone would be squawking. Better to trade 3 of them for a SG like Afflalo, unless they already have him in Snell. I guess we will know in three or four months.

  • fb_avatar

    A big lineup would be Noah, Gasol, Mirotic, Snell, McDermott.
    Doug has the passing ability to play point. With 3 3pt shooters there, he doesn't have to do dribble penetration, but he can do that a little. Snell would defend the opponents PG. This would create havoc for many teams.
    I also don't want to see Rose playing more than 32 minutes a game. I don't want anyone playing more than 32 minutes. No need for it.
    Let the Bulls go into post-season energized.

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    In reply to Craig Dillon:

    Who in the world brings the ball up in that situation? How about Hinrich/ Brooks, Snell, Mirotic, Gibson, Gasol. Gibson can guard the three just as well as Dunleavy, and this would be an offense that would give matchup fits.
    However, I think just as intriguing as an option is making the second unit an offensive monster. Brooks/Snell/McDermott/Mirotic/Gasol, wouldn't be great defensively but they could outscore any second unit in the league. Either way I am stoked for the Bulls season this year.

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    In reply to Calvo:

    I think McDermott could play point. He has great passing ability, and great court sense.
    I want to see Rose play off the ball this year. How do you defend Rose when he doesn't have the ball? How do you prevent him from getting the ball?
    McDermott/Rose will be such a great combo.

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    You want McDermott to bring the ball up court, and you're ridiculing other people on this blog by expressing your joy that they're not the Bulls' GM? Now I've heard it all.

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    Dude, McDermott was a PF in college and now he's suddenly a PG in the NBA? Ummm, ya. No. That is the worst idea of this entire comment section today. You have been downgraded to ignorant fan status for that one, sorry.

  • I think if Mirotic proves that he can play small forward then I think it would be in the teams best interest to move Dunleavy at the trade deadline. Honestly that's the only way I see everyone getting reasonable minutes. Noah, Taj, and Gasol have to be out there. Butler and Snell both have the 2 spot. Which really only leaves McDermott, Mirotic, and Dunleavy to squeeze in minutes at the 3 with Dunleavy being the odd man out obviously.

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    In reply to ajaychitown:

    No. They must carry at least 12. They have 12. Dunleavy is great insurance. Doug, Mirotic, Snell, Butler, will all get injuries, all minor I hope, and Dunleavy will be used, at least a little.

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    All the players you mentioned are young and still on their rookie contracts. They have far less milage and I would think if anyone would get injured it would be Dunleavy who's been in the league for over 12 years now. Having said that i like Dunleavy and if it were not for the fact that we have to find minutes for McDermott and Miritoc both, I would say keep him, but those two are the future and the future is now.

  • fb_avatar

    To play big, McDermott could play point. That would be interesting.
    Could Rose move with out the ball, and lose his man? I betcha!!
    McDermott is a great passer. I nice alley-oop to Rose would be fun to watch.
    Noah, Gasol, Mirotic, Rose, McDermott.....whew...I like that.

    In fact, you take the Bull's roster and pull five names out of a hat,
    and you will have a viable lineup for some situations.
    The Bulls never ever had such depth. The Bulls have 10 starter quality players, maybe 11. WOW.

    Ex. Taj, Snell, Butler, Brooks, Rose. That's a crazy lineup. Its small. But, I bet it would drive some teams nuts. LOL.

  • fb_avatar

    Rose/Butler/Dunleavy/Gibson/Noah - This is a starting lineup that can take first place in the East.
    Brooks (or Hinrich)/Snell/McDermott/Mirotic/Gasol - depending on how those middle three guys pan out this year, that could be the best second unit in the NBA.

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    In reply to Calvo:

    It might be better than the first unit LOL..

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    Poor Snell. Everyone forgets about him.
    He out shot McDermott in summer league - no small feat.
    He is as good a defender as Butler, IMHO.
    He passes to the open man, makes good decisions.
    I think the Rose, Snell, McDermott combo will be unbeatable.
    Gar's team building efforts this summer is like a baseball team hitting three grandslams in a single game.
    As for LeBron and Love? -- a has been and a never was.

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    Wrong about Snell being as good a defender as Jimmy
    Wrong about LeBron
    Wrong about Love

    Congratulations- You hit the trifecta!

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    Dear Craig,

    Your comments and ideas are terrible and mostly just wrong.

  • In reply to Craig Dillon:

    Looking good in summer league is definitely a small feat.

  • Doug,

    Based on the comments, it would be interesting to see who you think Thibs' starting five will be. Butler, Rose, and Noah are locks. I think Taj should start and he has earned it, but it depends on how Gasol looks with Noah. But really the question I'm asking as seen in the comments is whether you think McDermott will start and more importantly how the Bulls (and mostly Thibs) will use Snell. Your comments this morning about the jumbo line-up were about how the Bulls might use Mirotic and the consequences if he really shines. What are the consequences if McDermott or Snell really shine? The upside on McDermott right now is a little higher especially since he has not played a year under Thibs and been relegated to the bench. But what if Snell at least develops enough as Butler did in his second year by adding a defensive presence and adds a little more with being a shooting threat to be out there on the court for decent minutes? Then what happens?

  • Oh my head! Reality check time people.
    1. The jumbo line-up is intriguing but is not happening for more than 5 or 10 minutes and only against certain defensive alignments.

    2. Mirotic's value will not be defined by what he accomplishes this year.
    3. Pao Gasol is 32, obviously slowing down, and likely to miss numerous games. Taj and Noah are prone to ankle and/or foot injuries and will need to sit out here and there. Trade a big now and suddenly you're giving minutes to old Nazr (who I'm betting will end up filling the 13th roster spot). Mirotic may have to play 5-10 minutes one game and 30 the next this year. But Gasol is not a long term fixture.

    4. You aren't getting Afflalo this year.I don't know why Orlando traded him to the Nuggets for a bag of used beach balls, but they did. Denver is a playoff contender (or at least a wannabe) and they're already deep (albeit with mediocrity). Packaging a bunch of surplus guys is not going to appeal to them. Next year he's a FA but Denver should be able to pay a lot more than a MLE.

    It will be interesting to see if Thibbs will get creative in developing different rotations and varying them from game to game based on the opponent as well as on who is healthy game to game. That is the value of having depth, and what you need to do if you are employing a strategy of winning based on depth.

  • In reply to Huskerpowerforward:

    Pau Gasol is currently 34 years old, not 32.

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