We all recognize that the Chicago Bulls are doing their best to buy time and still compete in the absence of Derrick Rose. Wins are certainly the goal every night, some games better than others. Regardless, now should be the time that coach Tom Thibodeau really finds out what he’s working with in the MVP’s absence.
Considering the team’s obvious scoring struggles in any given game, now is the time to cut the minutes of starting point guard Kirk Hinrich in favor of seeing who can really push the rock in the Bulls backcourt.
That is not stated to take any stripes away from Hinrich because, as a Bulls loyalist, respect is due for his work over the years. He’s still Captain Kirk to me. But the fact is that the team’s talent and expectations have grown since the ‘Baby’ Bulls era. While we all await Rose’s return, fans aren’t willing to just catch the fade.
We’ve come to the point where we’ve actually bought into the belief that the team can still win games, even with the franchise player out until further notice. We still care about this season, each game, each moment. The now is what keeps us coming back for more, not the past.
Enter Nate Robinson.
Sure, he is a journeyman, a 5’9” wunderkind of sorts. We’ve seen his history with the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and Oklahoma City Thunder. I didn’t forget his stint with the Golden State Warriors. Nate brings energy wherever he plays.This year Robinson is balling on a non-guaranteed contract and, at this point, is outplaying Hinrich at every turn. As the Bulls look to piece-meal the point guard position in the short term, why not ride with Robinson as the starter?
The one thing that is clear is that Chicago’s offense clearly needs a jumpstart in Rose’s absence and Robinson brings that much more consistently than Hinrich. We won’t even go there about Rip Hamilton, when available. Nate is a hybrid point-shooting guard that has an attack and shoot-first mentality. His ability to run is exactly what the Bulls need and his presence make the longing for Rose a bit more bearable for bigs like Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson. Robinson seems to be the only one willing to create something from scratch when it counts, so why not let Nate be great as a starter?
It’s seemingly the best decision for all involved.
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