The Chicago Bulls are in a rather interesting spot as they enter the 2015-16 season with new head coach Fred Hoiberg at the helm. Derrick Rose is still recovering from a broken face, while Hoiberg is trying to sort out a talented but crowded frontcourt rotation.
As for Rose, Hoiberg said Thursday the point guard went through part of a contact practice and that he could play five-to-10 minutes in the Bulls’ final preseason tilt against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
However, Rose said he’s still experiencing double vision, making even the shortest participation in Friday’s game seem like a somewhat questionable decision. But it looks like he may play even if he still has the vision issues.
Then there’s the frontcourt. For right now, it’s looking like it’ll be Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic in the starting lineup, which means Joakim Noah will come off the bench. That’ll be a big adjustment for Noah, and he can’t be too thrilled about it in a contract season.
Gasol and Mirotic have some chemistry together thanks to their participation on the Spanish national team together, but there are some major questions about how that frontcourt duo will defend together. The Bulls’ defense has struggled for much of the preseason regardless, so it’s going to be a work in progress on that end of the court.
If Rose isn’t able to go in the opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers next Tuesday, the starting lineup will likely be Gasol, Mirotic, Kirk Hinrich, Tony Snell and Jimmy Butler.
And finally, the Bulls waived Jordan Crawford. The Steezus era is over.