Bulls forward Thad Young knows evaluations are all but out the window
When vice president of basketball operations John Paxson stayed pat at the trade deadline, he insisted it was so the organization could find out what exactly they have when injured players get back. That is still anyone’s guess, as the waiting game continues.
Thad Young had to laugh.
Not because the topic was funny to the 13-year Bulls veteran forward, as much as it was just the true disbelief of what has unfolded this season.
“No, this is a first,’’ Young said on Tuesday, when asked if he could recall playing on a team with so many critical injuries. “My last season in Philly [in 2014] was a different situation because we had so many guys that were coming in and out on the 10-days [10-day contracts]. That posed a problem every night, but that was a tank situation.
“This situation here has been completely different. We weren’t in the process of trying to tank. We were in the process of trying to see what we could do, and see what we could continue to build and grow. It’s just been an unfortunate situation.’’
One that gets more unfortunate by the day.
Once again, no Otto Porter Jr. (left foot), Wendell Carter Jr. (right ankle), Denzel Valentine (hamstring) or Lauri Markkanen (right pelvis). And don’t even ask about Kris Dunn (right knee) for a while because it’s very likely he will miss the remainder of the season.
The hope, however, was Carter and Porter would be back by the end of February, and the bodies would start trickling back in as March started. That could still happen, but the fact that Carter and Porter have practiced the last week, but still not seen game action doesn’t help the evaluation process that vice president of basketball operations John Paxson stressed the importance of earlier this month.
“To worry about that or be upset about it, I can’t control it,’’ coach Jim Boylen said of the difficulty of the evaluation process with just six weeks left. “As far as guys coming back, I’m anxiously optimistic about [Wednesday] having a practice and Thursday having a practice. Maybe Friday I’ll have some better news.
“It’s an interesting thing. You need to always look ahead, always plan, but you’ve got to be in the moment too. Right now I’m in the moment.’’
Not exactly a great place to be either, considering all the losing that’s gone on with the body count in the training room at a season high.
While Bulls players and coaches don’t want to come out and call this a wasted season, it basically has been.
Not only is the front office claiming they don’t know what they have in the evaluation process, but it’s even unclear to the players.
“I mean it makes it very hard to just have an observation of how everything will play out,’’ Young said. “You see bits and pieces when you have certain guys that play. The other thing too that makes it difficult is you don’t know what rotations or what lineups can really, really work together if you don’t have everybody at full strength or not everyone is healthy.
“When you don’t have the bodies that you should have it puts you in a situation where you’ve got to pivot. I think this season we’ve spent a lot of time pivoting. Pivot around one situation and then having to pivot around another. That’s not how you want to play this game.’’
NOTES: One strange number for this Bulls team? As bad as they’ve been, they are actually 7-2 on the back end of back-to-backs this season, winning the last five. … Center Luke Kornet was still on crutches and in a walking boot, missing a third-straight game with a left ankle sprain. … World Series Champion White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was in attendance at the United Center on Tuesday.
Source : Joe Cowley Link