Bulls: Thoughts, Grades and Takeaways Through First Two Games of Season

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Oct 27, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mo Williams (52) is defended by Chicago Bulls guard Aaron Brooks (0) during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Thoughts on the Reserves

  • Behind Derrick Rose, here’s the minute distribution at the guard position:

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Fred Hoiberg gets it. He understands that Aaron Brooks and E’Twaun Moore can provide more for the Bulls than Kirk Hinrich can at the point guard position. Rose has played a steady amount of minutes despite his lack of preseason time, so the time that has gone to the reserves, has gone to the guys most capable of producing.

  • It’s been a common trend in the first two games: The Taj GibsonJoakim Noah pairing has picked things up defensively for the Bulls when they both enter the game off the bench.
    • Gibson’s defensive ratings through two games: 86, 111 (more of this one in a minute)
    • Noah’s defensive ratings through two games: 88, 86

Gibson looked out of sorts on Wednesday night against the Nets. It’s not easy to get stops when Brook Lopez plays like he did on Wednesday (26 points on 10-of-17 shooting). The other three sub-90 ratings is more of what the Gibson-Noah pairing can do off the bench. It’s been a nice jolt of energy for the Bulls early on.

The interesting development is how Joakim Noah found his way to the bench. It was his idea.

"How was the conversation when you told Joakim he officially wasn’t going to start? Jo actually came to me and talked to me about that. He said, basically, “I’ve always played well with Taj.” He said he thought Niko and Pau played very well together, so let’s go that route. It was actually Jo that started the whole conversation. He came to me. That says a lot about him. (Zach Lowe speaking with Fred Hoiberg before Wednesday’s game, Grantland.com)"

  • Right now, the only thing keeping Doug McDermott from some more extended minutes in the rotation is his defensive performance. He’s made six of his 11 shot attempts in the first pair of games, but there’s been a few defensive lapses for McDermott. Despite some issues defensively, he’s actually getting a chance to show what he can do, which is a big positive all in itself.

Next: Highlights from the first two games