The Chicago Bulls are a deep basketball team. That’s how they’ve managed to sustain excellence despite injuries that would devastate another team. Consider this: the Bulls lose the league MVP (Derrick Rose) and yet they return to the playoffs year after year; the Thunder watch Kevin Durant go down and down goes their playoff bid.
But depth can become a problem, too. Because for all the jewels Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has on hand, he can’t let them all shine at once. Amazingly, that means Nikola Mirotic — who finished second in NBA Rookie of the Year voting — has been on the court for all of 9 minutes and 28 seconds in the first two games against the Cavaliers. Ethan Skolnick at Bleacher Report thinks it’s because Joakim Noah is in the way. But Noah is the heart and soul of the Bulls, right? Game 3 Friday night may see Thibodeau choose less heart and soul and more pure scoring. Nikola Mirotic, not your average rookie at 24, should be ready.