Over the past few seasons, the Chicago Bulls‘ bench mob has taken on several different looks. First, the bench featured the likes of Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Omer Asik. Then, the fresh faces of Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli were able to carry their weight for the Bulls in the 2013 NBA playoffs. Although the cast of characters has changed, the one thing that remains consistent is that the Bulls’ bench is always solid.
One of the reasons why the Bulls’ bench has been so consistent over the years is because of the play of forward Taj Gibson. Gibson — a fifth year forward out of the University of Southern California — is averaging a respectable 13 points, six rebound, and one block per game. He is also the leading candidate for the Sixth Man of the Year Award. Gibson is emerging as head coach Tom Thibideau’s 4th quarter anchor on defense, along with center Joakim Noah.
Another big factor off of the Bulls’ bench is guard D.J. Augustin. Back in early December of this season, Augustin was a mere castaway from the Toronto Raptors. Now, the fourth year player out of the University of Texas is the leading scorer for the Bulls since the trade of Luol Deng. He is averaging more than 15 points per game during that time, and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Augustin also provides a missing element that was lost when Derrick Rose was ruled out for the season — speed and quickness.
The main X-Factor off the bench, however, could come from newly acquired guard Jimmer Fredette. Fredette, bought out by the Sacramento Kings on Feb. 27, has yet to crack Thibideau’s rotation, but will undoubtedly make his impact felt before the regular season ends. Unfortunately for Fredette, he came to a Chicago team that already has an established rotation, and must be patient for the time being. Nevertheless, if Thibdeau can get Fredette going sometime in the near future, expect even bigger things out of the Bulls bench mob heading into the playoffs.