It should come as a shock to anyone that missed the game to open up the NBA.com box score and see a big "DNP - coach's decision" next to Marquis Teague's name.
If was worse watching the game.
Kirk Hinrich may have a bad knee....and a lot of other bad parts, and be 32 in a few weeks, but then why is he playing 30 minutes in the starting lineup against a quality team in the Memphis Grizzlies? Why did Thibodeau decide to shorten his bench a player against a deep, athletic team on the first night of a back-to-back??
And why, oh why, wise Thibodeau, does Kirk Hinrich still get to start on this team?
That player that got snubbed a chance to follow up on his brilliant fourth quarter performance vs. Brooklyn was Marquis Teague, the obvious choice for the starter at point guard.
For one, he is one of the most athletic players on the Bulls. He showed up in a huge way against the Nets on Saturday night at a time when the Bulls were looking very similar to how they looked in the 4th quarter of tonight's game, down 7 with a stagnant offense. Teague showed his ability to distribute the basketball, get out in transition, and play some tough defense against an elite point guard in Deron Williams.
Compared to Nate and Hinrich, he's the most true PG we have.
The absence of Rip Hamilton, who is still out with torn fascia in his foot, has also contributed to a shorter bench for Thibodeau to work with. His replacement, Marco Bellinelli, has stepped up in a big way, perhaps now even owning Rip's spot upon his return. In the meantime, the obvious move would be to slide Hinrich to the backup SG spot, and let Teague and Robinson assume point guard duties.
At least until Hinrich gets healthy, through this funk, or finally gives up and quits (he could work at Lens Crafters).
What is there to lose? The best player and the entire future of the Chicago Bulls is in street clothes. The Bulls roster, stocked with veteran players like Noah, Deng, Boozer, and Hamilton, will provide a good complement upon his return. What more can we honestly expect from these players right now? They are a good defensive unit and below average offensively.
Insert youth and athleticism.
Every Bulls fan knows the salary situation, and the issues this team has moving forward over the next two years. Tom Thibodeau is a great coach, with a coaching style that has brought out the best in his players over his short tenure with the Chicago Bulls. If you can have one gripe with him, though, it is the stubborn way in which he has played his starters.
For this team to achieve something other than an average playoff run, we need our great coach to use his focus his talents more on giving Teague and Butler more of the spotlight. The opportunity is right there to see if we can get a maximum return on these players, both on rookie contracts that are a fraction of the veteran Bulls.
The time is now to play Marquis Teague and Jimmy Butler every night, with plenty of minutes, for the future of the Chicago Bulls.