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updated: 7/18/2014 9:53 PM

Thibodeau waxes eloquent on all things Bulls

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  • Coach Tom Thibodeau had plenty to say on a variety of Bulls topics Friday at the United Center.

    Coach Tom Thibodeau had plenty to say on a variety of Bulls topics Friday at the United Center.
    Associated Press


Did the Bulls really have more than enough to win the past two seasons?

Well, they did lose in the first round of the playoffs last spring. So apparently no, they did not.

That's been one of coach Tom Thibodeau's go-to lines any time injury misfortune struck the Bulls. He changed the message slightly Friday, when the Bulls introduced new additions Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic at the United Center.

"You have to have depth," Thibodeau said. "We had it my first two years here. We didn't have it the last two years. Hopefully, we'll regain it."

To illustrate the Bulls' potential depth, just check the two-deeps. They have Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich at the point, Jimmy Butler and Tony Snell at two guard, Mike Dunleavy and Doug McDermott at small forward, with Gasol, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson splitting the minutes inside. That doesn't even include Mirotic, a 6-foot-10 sharpshooting forward, who should be talented enough that he has to fit somewhere.

So in some ways, fitting the pieces together could be a challenge for Thibodeau. Asked where he sees Mirotic fitting in defensively, Thibodeau had a plan in mind.

"Probably will be more with the fours," Thibodeau said. "That's always an adjustment, the defense. We'll start with individual fundamentals and then build up to team concepts. Everything we do is five-man defense. (Mirotic) not only has to learn what he has to do individually, but also what he has to do team-wise.

"He's smart. He plays good body position defense already, so that's a good step in the rigth direction. It will sort itself out once we get to camp and we get a look at the different combinations. Then we'll get set on a rotation and we'll go from there."

Thibodeau spoke about a variety of topics Friday, so here is the coach's State of the Bulls, summer edition:

On the three-big rotation of Gasol, Noah and Gibson:

Thibodeau: "As I've spoken with all three, they're all going to have significant roles. How it all plays out, we won't know that until they're on the floor and look at how theywork together. We'll always do what's best for the team.

"I'm not ruling out (Gibson starting). I want to see how it works together, what's best for our second unit, how we're going to finish, who are you going to start, how the minutes are going to work out. But they're all good problems to have."

On the summer performance of rookie Doug McDermott:

"He scores a lot of different ways. It's summer league, so I don't want to overstate it, but it's the next step for him. The game he had 31 points, he did it on 12 shots. That's very, very efficient. He's showing he can play with other people, which is important. I think the way he shoots, it's similar to (Kyle) Korver. Anytime he comes off a pindown, there's two guys stepping out. You can get offense off of that."

On failing to land free agent Carmelo Anthony:

"I always think we have a good chance at everybody, because I think we have a great situation here. That's how I look at it. If we don't get somebody, it's just the way it is. I'm not disappointed, just move on. I like the guys we do have. When you have a guy like Derrick Rose, you're fortunate. You have a guy like Noah, you're very fortunate. How they all work together and play for the team is probably a little unusual in this league."

On whether Rose will make the Team USA roster this summer:

"As long as it goes well. There's rust he has to shake offf. He looked good in the summer league practices. He spent a lot of time shooting. I expect him to play well and the ultimate decision will be with Mr. (Jerry) Colangelo (USA Basketball president), so hopefully he sees it that way.

"(Rose) doesn't have to play a lot of minutes or have to score a lot of points, just fit in and run the team. The way he ran the team in 2010, I thought, was a big part of why they won. So I think it will be great for him."

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