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Article posted: 11/29/2013 5:35 AM

Bulls clearly miss Nate Robinson's spark

@Casption credit:Associated Press Playing just 17 minutes per game, point guard Nate Robinson is giving Denver's offense a lift off the bench and averaging about 9 points per game.

@Casption credit:Associated Press Playing just 17 minutes per game, point guard Nate Robinson is giving Denver's offense a lift off the bench and averaging about 9 points per game.

 
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By Mike North

I was watching the Denver Nuggets play the Minnesota Timberwolves the other night, and lo and behold I saw an old familiar face -- Nate Robinson.

Remember him Bulls fans?

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He was the sparkplug after Derrick Rose went down last season, and he played so well that other teams were interested in Robinson at the end of the season.

During the game, one of the Timberwolves announcers commented on the disbelief that the Bulls didn't bring him back in light of D-Rose's issues.

Now I'm not savvy enough to understand all the payroll and salary-cap issues, but I do know the Bulls were banking on Rose for 30-plus minutes a game. With Kirk Hinrich as a combo guard, it looked like it would work out.

The problem is that point guard Marcus Teague, whom I thought had some upside, is not working out. The Bulls probably thought he had some upside as well. Teague played 11 minutes against the Detroit Pistons and had 0 points, 2 assists and 1 turnover. He is averaging 1 point, less than 1 assist and 1 turnover a game in 10 minutes of play. His minutes should increase with Rose out, and maybe he will improve.

Robinson, in just 17 minutes of play, is averaging 9 points per game. And with double the minutes, Rose was only averaging 15.9 points per game.

The Bulls will have to depend on the ultimate effort from Captain Kirk, but with Rose hurt, how will Bulls general manager Gar Forman and John Paxson, executive vice president of Basketball Operations, pick up the pieces?

Paxson became a better GM and his reputation was enhanced the night Rose fell into his lap. Everyone got smarter. But when the Bulls purged their depth by breaking with former players such as Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson, Omer Asik and Robinson, they put all their eggs in the D-Rose basket.

And unfortunately they were wrong.

They now have to rebuild, which means they will have to trade some top talent. Can Forman, who has stripped this club of some talent, rebuild this team, and is Tom Thibodeau the right guy to rebuild with as coach? He wants to win every single game, and how will that mesh with what the Bulls need to do?

The Eastern Conference is so bad the Bulls are a fourth or fifth slot team as we speak and are under .500. Small forward Jimmy Butler is also hurt which doesn't help.

Forman says his talent has to play better. I say, "Gar -- go to Plan B."

This team isn't going anywhere, and if you think it is, then you're the problem. Tear it up sooner than later.

Program notes:

I will be filling in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday on Fox Sports radio, along with the 9 p.m. to midnight show on Sunday.

Listen to The Mike North Pregame Show from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on WIND AM-560 The Answer, and follow me on Twitter @north2north.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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