…Tyrus Thomas or rookie Taj Gibson? Nobody knows yet, except possibly Vinny Del Negro. But the coach isn’t talking. However, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports that Gibson played with the first unit during yesterday’s practice. Tyrus was asked about the situation afterward, but he “politely declined to discuss the situation, smiling as he waved off a question.”
I suppose this whole “will he or won’t he start” situation could be a motivational ploy by Vinny. But, based on everything I’ve seen from Tyrus over the past few seasons, I don’t believe that kind of gimmick is going to work with him. In fact, I could see it backfiring. No offense to Gibson — who has looked good and played with a lot of heart during the preseason — but I again contend that the Bulls need to start Thomas.
It’s “Put Up or Shut Up” time for Tyrus (who’s in a contract year) and the Bulls (who are going to have some tough decisions to make next summer). Why take the chance of watching Thomas regress while coming off the bench when the time is now to see what this kid is all about?
It’s also possible that Vinny is sending a message that starting spots are earned by hard work and solid play. And, generally speaking, that’s a good message to send. But every situation is different, and I’d hate to see this situation sow seeds of discord before the season even begins.
On the bright side, Derrick Rose has officially returned to practice.