Tom Thibodeau noted already that he's going to run with a nine man rotation meaning anyone who's not in those nine will only play spot minutes here and there. Rose, Butler, Dunleavy, Gasol, Noah, Hinrich, and Gibson are all obvious. That leaves two spots left.
K.C. Johnson says Aaron Brooks will take one of those spots which is bad news for Bulls fans.
The starters you mention are five. Gibson, Hinrich and Aaron Brooks are locks to come off the bench. So you’re looking at a battle between Mirotic, McDermott and Tony Snell for the last spot.
Aaron Brooks can only be in the rotation if he plays PG. Presuming Derrick Rose plays 30+ minutes that leaves 18 or less minutes a game at back up PG. That's clearly not enough for Brooks and Hinrich to split. In fact, if Brooks is in the rotation it means that he's probably playing 12 or so of those minutes.
So you know what that means....
Yes, Kirk Hinrich's primary role for this team will be to play SG.
Keith Bogans 2.0 here we come.
Look, I've got nothing against Hinrich as a player. I, like most fans, enjoyed greatly the revival of the team he helped to bring when the Bulls drafted him. He's a tough minded, gritty guy, who tries had and leaves it all on the floor.
He's a smart player who doesn't make lots of mistakes, can run an offense, find guys in their spots, and you know does some quality things you'd like out of your back up point guard.
However, he can't shoot. He can't score. He can't release pressure on the rest of the team as an offensive threat. He can't fulfill the responsibilities this team needs out of it's shooting guard.
That wouldn't be SO bad except for the fact that the Bulls have a guy who can. His name is Doug McDermott. He can shot the fucking lights out of the ball, and while his shooting was so-so in the second preseason game watching the defense react to him made it damn clear that he'll relieve pressure on the rest of the offense regardless of how good he's shooting.
No one is trying to run 100 miles an hour to make sure they close out on Kirk at the three point line. There's no need for that. That's a slow jog on the close out while you yell "shoot it" at him as he catches the ball to taunt him into a shot you know won't go in anyway.
And this is where the Kirk Hinrich signing sucks.
If we left Kirk as a back up PG and played him 12-18 minutes a game to relieve Derrick Rose things would be all fine and dandy. We could make use of his skills in running the offense, finding guys, and all that jazz, however, I don't know what anyone sees on film that makes them think Hinrich at the two is an answer for anything.
It makes your defense smaller and doesn't really do much for your offense either.
Tom Thibodeau hurt this team considerably in 2010 by not playing Korver nearly enough with Derrick Rose. Kyle Korver's ability to create space by merely standing around the court, blowing on his fingernails and nodding at the defender while saying "do you feel lucky punk" if he steps more than three feet from him opened everything up.
Doug McDermott could do the same. However, Thibodeau wanted to have Korver be an offensive creator instead of a spacer so ran him with the second team off 50 screens every play to get him shots where he's coming off a hard sprint on plays that took 10-15 seconds to develop.
We've seen him do the same with Doug in the preseason.
Both guys could find some success doing that, however, both guys would find even more success simply playing with an elite player and getting open looks or just swinging them to the weakside of the court and forcing a defender to stay all alone out there on them and not be able to help.
Maybe I'm over-reacting, maybe K.C. Johnson is wrong, but I doubt it.
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