The Potential Rotation For The Beaten Up Chicago Bulls

Pau Gasol & Derrick Rose - Chicago Bulls
(Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
I’ve been watching Fred Hoiberg’s minutes distribution and rotation.  For me, it leaves a lot to be desired.  The Bulls are currently suffering through a plethora of injuries, but they should have enough depth to put out a decent rotation.  Here are my suggestions.  I used two assumptions and rules:

  1. Derrick Rose is capable of playing 35-36 minutes for the time being: I keep seeing he’s asking out of games because he’s winded. Um, we’re 53 games in.  Is he not in shape?  If not, why isn’t he?
  2. Fred Hoiberg should never have a second where either Derrick Rose or Pau Gasol is off the court: Phil Jackson was the master at this with Jordan and Pippen.  This will make it easier for the role players to continue playing their roles and diminish these scoring lulls the Bulls have.
  3. Minutes restrictions: Dunleavy is on restriction for only 20 minutes.

Starting five:
PG – Derrick Rose
SG – E’Twaun Moore
SF – Tony Snell
PF – Taj Gibson
C – Pau Gasol

First quarter:
I would sub out Derrick Rose, and Taj Gibson around the 7 minute mark replacing him with Doug McDermott and Bobby Portis. Mike Dunleavy replaces Tony Snell with 5 minutes left to go in the first. The new lineup becomes E’Twaun Moore, Mike Dunleavy, Doug McDermott, Bobby Portis, and Pau Gasol.  There’s enough defense, shooting, and rebounding to keep the Bulls from going through a scoring drought.  Also, Moore assumes point guard responsibilities and helps set up shooters like Dunleavy and McDermott to get good looks.  Gasol and Moore play the entire first quarter.

Second quarter:
Derrick Rose replaces E’Twaun Moore at point guard, Tony Snell replaces Dunleavy, and Taj Gibson replaces Gasol at center.  The new lineup is Derrick Rose, Doug McDermott, Tony Snell, Bobby Portis, and Taj Gibson.  Again, there’s enough defense and rebounding on the court and enough scoring.  Rose should have a wide open lane playing alongside McDermott, Snell, and Bobby Portis.  It will also help those guys find open shots.  Also, Rose is set to play the entire quarter which won’t be a huge problem with timeouts and the 8-minute mark TV timeout to break up his minutes.

At the 6 minute mark, Gasol and Moore return for Portis and McDermott.  At the 5 minute mark, Dunleavy returns for Tony Snell.  The new lineup becomes: Rose, Moore, Snell/Dunleavy, Gibson, and Gasol.  This lineup finishes the half.

Third quarter:
The starting lineup starts off the half.  The same basic principles as the first quarter: Rose and Gibson sub out with 7 minutes left to go in the third being replaced by McDermott, and Portis.  Snell exits with 5 minutes left to go in the third and is replaced by Dunleavy.  Gasol and Moore, again, finish the third quarter.

Fourth quarter:
Same starting group as the second quarter: Rose, McDermott, Snell, Portis, and Gibson.  Same substitution pattern: Gasol and Moore return with around 6 minutes left to go and Dunleavy returns with 5 minutes left to go.  Rose, Moore, Dunleavy, Gibson, and Gasol finish the game.

Minutes played:
Gasol: 36 minutes
Moore: 36 minutes
Rose – 34 minutes
Gibson: 34 minutes
Snell: 28 minutes
McDermott: 26 minutes
Portis: 26 minutes
Dunleavy: 20 minutes

Moore and Gasol have to play a few more extra minutes than what you’d like them to, but this is only temporary.  Once Butler returns, he can ease some of that burden.  Also, Mirotic should be able to replace some of Bobby Portis’ minutes and also help reduce Taj Gibson’s minutes.  This shortens the rotation to 8 players.  Brooks is basically out of the rotation.  He has been abysmal lately and with his size and his mentality to always try and score, he is a detriment to the bench unit.

Brandon Pence is the founder and former editor of the Chicago Bulls blog “The Bulls Charge.”  Follow him on Twitter

Ephesians 1:4

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