Gibson understands switch in lineup

Published12/8/2009 10:23 PM

With the Bulls losing seven of their last eight games, coach Vinny Del Negro decided to make a change Tuesday. Veteran Brad Miller joined the starting lineup and rookie Taj Gibson went to the bench.

OK, so maybe it was hardly worth tweeting about, but the Bulls' options are limited with just 10 healthy players.


"We've got to get Brad going," Del Negro said before the game. "I think Taj has done a tremendous job, especially for a rookie. He plays hard every day, just a great kid.

"But this might take a little pressure off Joakim (Noah), give him another veteran guy out there with more size."

Gibson, the No. 26 pick of the first round from USC, had started all but three games this season at power forward, stepping in while Tyrus Thomas has been out with an illness and broken arm.

While averaging 7.4 points and 5.8 rebounds, Gibson has gotten into foul trouble at times.

"Coach said he's got a lot of faith in me," Gibson said. "Me and him talked and I was like, 'Yeah, whatever helps the team.' He said, 'You're still going to play a lot of minutes.'

"He just wanted to shake things up. It's still early, I'm still learning, so I'm not really worried about it."

Tie a knot in it: Toronto coach Jay Triano made an odd comment Monday regarding Jarrett Jack's in-game tying of his shoes during the Raptors' romp Saturday at the United Center.

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"If it was one of our guys guarding their guy, and the guy tied his shoe, I would expect our guy to go over and knock him on his (butt)," Triano told Toronto reporters.

Whether Triano was trying to make a joke at Jack's expense or questioning the toughness of a team he just beat by 32 points, Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro wasn't interested in hearing about it.

"I don't talk about other team's coaches or players or anything," Del Negro said. "I don't think that's right. I've got enough concerns in (the locker room), so I think everyone should just stick their comments to their team and move forward."

More time to heal: Still no conclusive word on when Kirk Hinrich (sprained left thumb) or Tyrus Thomas (broken left arm) might return.

When Thomas had surgery to repair the radius bone with a metal plate, the Bulls were optimistic that he'd be back in four weeks, an anniversary that passed Saturday. Now there is talk it might be another two weeks or more before Thomas is ready.

"He's just starting to stretch a little bit and do some things," Vinny Del Negro said. "He had a serious injury and he's got to get that thing healed up. It's all positive progress so far."


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