Chicago Bulls' new lineup set to debut against Bucks

Everyone is curious to see the Bulls' Three-Alpha lineup in action and that look will debut Monday against Milwaukee at the United Center. But coach Fred Hoiberg plans to focus more on the young guys when the Bulls play the first of their seven preseason games.

The Bulls have no injury concerns, so Monday's starting lineup should include Dwyane Wade, Rajon Rondo, Jimmy Butler, Robin Lopez and a power forward to be named later.

"They'll play. Still debating exactly how many minutes," Hoiberg said of the starters. "They won't play a lot. Some of them will just play in the first half and then we'll give the young guys an opportunity to go out and play in the second half.

"Our plan with Dwyane is to play him between 10 and 12 minutes, all in the first half. My plan with Jimmy is to play him some in the first half and then most likely sit him in the second. We'll see how it all transpires. We'll see how Rondo and Lopez are doing at halftime and we'll make a determination as to whether they play in the second half."

Hoiberg wouldn't name his starter at power forward and suggested he'll try different people in the first and second preseason games. The obvious candidates are Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic, while Bobby Portis could join the mix if he plays well.

"Everybody would like to start, that's obvious," Mirotic said Sunday at the Advocate Center. "But this is the Chicago Bulls. There are a lot of great players. We are here to help the team to put Chicago in the playoffs. I'm not worried if I'm going to start or not."

Guard competition close:

There has been plenty of focus on the Bulls' unsettled big-man rotation, but another spot to watch is the backup guards, where Jerian Grant, Spencer Dinwiddie, Isaiah Canaan and possibly rookie Denzel Valentine are vying for time,

"I'm not sure any of those guys have separated themselves from the others," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "They've all shown flashes of playing very good basketball. So again, they'll get opportunities in the game. We'll put the ball in Denzel's hands as our lead guard. So we'll continue to give those guys opportunities and see who earns that spot."

Mirotic brings medal:

Nikola Mirotic didn't stay on a cruise ship like the Team USA players, but he enjoyed his Olympic experience in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Mirotic and ex-Bulls center Pau Gasol helped lead Spain to the bronze medal.

"No, we didn't have luxury like (Team USA) had, but it was great," Mirotic said. "Maybe the food was not that great in the village but to be with all the athletes was fun. It was a big experience for me. I couldn't complain at all."

Mirotic also took comfort in the fact that he returned to the Advocate Center before Jimmy Butler brought his gold medal for show and tell.

Krause goes sleuthing:

Longtime Bulls general manager Jerry Krause was a guest at Sunday's practice. He watched from a courtside seat and chatted with Jimmy Butler when it was over.

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