Bulls will experiment with lineups in preseason; Gasol, Mirotic keys


Bulls will experiment with lineups in preseason; Gasol, Mirotic keys

Despite the Bulls being a relatively stable team in terms of personnel, when they step on the floor for the preseason some unique player combinations will be used.

After all, preseason is the time for experimentation and Fred Hoiberg has to work this Rubik’s Cube to make the product more diverse and less predictable than previous seasons.

“I try to split up the groups pretty even. We mix and match,” Hoiberg said. “We had three separate scrimmages where we put a lot of combinations of guys together.”

Hoiberg revealed Pau Gasol only played the first few minutes in a couple scrimmages before completely sitting out the third, likely part of the “Saving Gasol’s Gas” plan considering his age and the fact he played for the Spanish National Team over the summer.

[MORE: Jimmy Butler setting tone in camp with his play and his mouth]

Gasol and fellow Spaniard Nikola Mirotic will be key pieces in the diversity of the Bulls offense this season, as the Bulls will employ the popular “four-out, one-in” offensive set many teams use to maximize floor spacing for drivers and open 3-pointers for shooters.

“We’ll run some four out and one in,” Hoiberg said. “We’ll run some four out and one in with two bigs on the floor, especially with Pau out there. He has proven he can make shots and he can also make plays. If you swing it to him and he doesn’t shoot it, you can get into a second side action.”

Mirotic, in theory and form, is a good 3-point shooter but the numbers say he’s a 31.6 percent shooter. Teams won’t be so quick to run out and defend a shooter with those numbers, no matter his skill set.

Apparently it’s been a point of emphasis in camp, as the Bulls hope to improve on their 35 percent efficiency last season, but they were middle in the pack in terms of attempts.

[RELATED: Joakim Noah wants another shot at pairing with Pau Gasol]

“His three-pointers are much more consistent this year,” said Bulls forward Taj Gibson, who’s had to guard Mirotic on occasion in camp. “He's been doing a lot better as far as taking the pressure, knowing when to shoot and when not to shoot. We've been trying to get him to shoot a lot more, and he's been playing well.”

Hoiberg said Mirotic is more comfortable at the power forward than small forward, so he doesn’t appear to be a prime candidate to take Mike Dunleavy’s place in the first five.

But nothing is decided yet for the long-term, hence Hoiberg’s desire to see different starting lineups all through the preseason.

He hasn’t ruled out starting Gasol and Joakim Noah together, and is noncommittal on just about anything so early in camp.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

“It was good to see different combinations, to start that process,” Hoiberg said. “As for who’ll be our starter for opening night, I don’t think we’ll probably start the same lineups for all the preseason games. We’ll see. We still have a few days before that first preseason game on Tuesday.”

And they have a long way before the regular season begins against the Cleveland Cavaliers, so all of this is in the embryonic stage.

“(Today’s a) very good teaching segment,” Hoiberg said. “Never been part of any staff, roster, player, coach where we walk out after our first scrimmage and say ‘all right guys, we got it all figured out’. We got a lot of things to work on and a lot of things to get cleaned up and work on.”

'Rodman: For Better or Worse' 30 for 30 will debut on September 10


'Rodman: For Better or Worse' 30 for 30 will debut on September 10

On Friday ESPN revealed that the next film in their award-winning 30 for 30 series will focus on the life of former Bull and Hall of Fame forward Dennis Rodman. 

The film—which is titled "Rodman: For Better or Worse" will detail Rodman's journey to becoming a Hall of Famer and five-time NBA Champion. The documentary will detail Rodman's difficult upbringing in Dallas, his dominant run at Southeastern Oklahoma State and his development into one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history. 

While Rodman is no doubt one of the greatest talents in NBA history, he is just as famous for his intriguing and oftentimes shocking off the court exploits. Rodman: For Better or Worse will discuss Rodman diving into international diplomacy issues and all of the deeper reasons behind him becoming the interesting character that we know him as today. 

The documentary will feature interviews from former teammates and coaches of Rodman's, including Bill Laimbeer,  John Salley, Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, and Phil Jackson. 

Rodman: For Better or Worse will be directed by Todd Kapostasy. 

Kapostasy is a seven-time Emmy Award winner. He wrote and directed 2016 documentary 'Confessions of a Cubs Fan: A Century of Waiting', which focused on the idea that winning isn't everything in sports amid the backdrop of the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series.

“Rodman: For Better or Worse” released on September 10, at 8 p.m. CT

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Coby White becomes first rookie in NBA history to understand his NBA2K rating

NBA 2K20

Coby White becomes first rookie in NBA history to understand his NBA2K rating

It's that time of the year when every fan and player loses their mind over arbitray video game ratings that mean nothing.

That is, unless you're Coby White.

The rookie found out his rating for NBA 2K20 in a video posted to Twitter on Thursday and, much to the delight of this author, was pleased with his 76 rating.

"It's solid," White told Ronnie 2K. "Everybody be wanting their grade to be higher than what it is but I haven't played a game in the league yet so I understand why it's a 76. But I feel like after the season it'll be higher."

White said he hopes he can get his rating up to at least an 80 by the end of the season. Bulls fans would be pleased with that development, too.

White also said he was happy with his likeness in the game, which you can check out below.