(CBS) Much has been made of the Bulls’ recent woes in light of a 121-114 home loss to the lowly Magic on Monday night.
While a 26-13 record still leaves plenty of room for optimism, so much of what Chicago does has been under the microscope after players have openly spoken of their championship aspirations and what it takes to get there. Their performance in losing three of their past four — including two at home to sub-.500 teams in the Jazz and Magic — has been anything but title-worthy.READ MORE: Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman Has 'Stepped Aside' Following Independent Probe Into 2010 Sexual Assault Claim Against Former Coach
“We got to decide what we’re going to be,” coach Tom Thibodeau said after Monday’s loss.
One spot Chicago needs to find a rhythm at is with its big man pairings. The Bulls have four capable centers/power forwards in Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic. Yet only so many minutes are available, and Thibodeau’s hinted at ending the Mirotic-at-small forward experiment, so playing time has become even more precious.
In choosing his big men, Thibodeau will take everything into consideration — matchups, health, attitudes, current play, inherent belief and advanced numbers. Only Thibodeau can judge most of that, but here’s at what the statistics say about Chicago’s big man pairings. The list is ordered from the most minutes played together to the least.
Note: Net rating is plus/minus per 100 possessions and comes from NBA.com.
Pau Gasol-Joakim Noah
Minutes played: 655
Offensive rating: 103.3
Defensive rating: 102.0
Net rating: 1.4
Often used together … as starters and sometimes in crunch time, depending on the matchup.
Pau Gasol-Taj GibsonREAD MORE: SWAT Teams On Scene For Hours As Man Barricades Himself In Lemont Township Home With Child
Minutes played: 373
Offensive rating: 108.3
Defensive rating: 100.8
Net rating: 7.6
Often used together … as starters when Noah has been out with injuries, late in first/third quarters and situationally based on matchups.
Taj Gibson-Nikola Mirotic
Minutes played: 315
Offensive rating: 104.6
Defensive rating: 94.7
Net rating: 9.9
Often used together … to start the second/fourth quarters and situationally based on matchups.
Pau Gasol-Nikola Mirotic
Minutes played: 244
Offensive rating: 101.6
Defensive rating: 100.6
Net rating: 1.0
Often used together … situationally as a (seemingly) offensive-minded unit and when injuries have realigned the rotation.
Joakim Noah-Nikola Mirotic
Minutes played: 198
Offensive rating: 108.1
Defensive rating: 95.8
Net rating: 12.3
Often used together … situationally and when injuries have realigned the rotation.
Joakim Noah-Taj GibsonMORE NEWS: Data Show More Than 100 Carjackings In Austin Community This Year, Just 5 Not Far Away In Hermosa
Minutes played: 195
Offensive rating: 95.4
Defensive rating: 103.8
Net rating: -8.4
Often used together … for a few minutes in the second/fourth quarters and situationally.