I’m getting ready to see Tom Thibodeau lose his job, honestly. There are some things that are inexcusable, and using a 7-man rotation on November 13, 2014 is certainly one of them. I realize that the Toronto Raptors were 7-1, and a likely playoff team that you want to beat. That being said, you have to plan for the actual meaningful games, especially when you know you are a 50-win team (as the Bulls certainly are). Why on earth are you giving 39 minutes to Jimmy Butler and 4 minutes to Nikola Mirotic (a player you hope to develop into a good player by the end of the year)? How can Pau Gasol get 35 minutes (one for each year of life, and another minute for fun) and Doug McDermott grab 5? Even Aaron Brooks had just 9:30 to play.
Derrick Rose strained a hamstring halfway through the 4th quarter (and to all the people who are razzing him for missing games with 2 sprained ankles, this is what happens when you come back too early from an injury). Frustrating to see, and I’d let him take a week off to rest.
As for the actual game, Pau Gasol absolutely dominated, adding 3 blocks to his double-double (27/11). Rose was getting to the line, but didn’t look good anywhere else. Something seemed to be bothering him all night, and then the hamstring finally sat him down for good. Jimmy Butler might have been the player of the night, though. The Bulls were +17 with him on the floor, -8 with him off it. He was a menace on the defensive glass, and he added 6 assists and 21 points.
McDermott and Mirotic both look really bad, but it’s hard to tell when they only on the floor for a single shift. Seriously, Tom, let them play. I know you hate rookies, but this is getting ridiculous.
The Bulls have a day off, and then they play the hapless Pacers (I love saying that, I live in Indianapolis). They are extremely well-coached and play hard, but with 30 minutes+ of Donald Sloan, I fully expect some E’Twaun “Victory Lap” Moore on the Floore.