The Chicago Bulls have needed better big-men for a long time. The roster includes Tyrus Thomas, an athletic, thin power forward, and Joakim Noah, a power forward who can also play center. Neither guy is impressing this season and coach Vinny Del Negro has made his displeasure clear. The Arlington Daily Herald (Mike McGraw) reports:
There has been nothing subtle about recent messages sent from Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro to young big men Joakim Noah and Tyrus Thomas. Noah went from starting at center to not playing at all Saturday against Washington. Thomas, one week removed from a 14-point, 13-rebound game against Philadelphia, sat out Tuesday’s 105-100 win over the Knicks by coach’s decision. Following Wednesday’s practice at the Berto Center, Del Negro listed the specific qualities he’s looking for, not only in Noah and Thomas, but all his players. “We’re trying to play a lot of guys,” Del Negro said. “The guys that are going to focus in, know their roles, commit to it, come with effort every day (will play). I can handle mistakes, but I can’t handle lack of effort and I can’t handle lack of commitment to the team. Those guys know that and they’re working better. That’s always a work in progress with a young team.”
For the season, Thomas is playing 21.5 minutes per game and averaging 6.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks but shooting a miserable 34.4%.
Noah is playing 16.5 minutes and putting up just 3.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.16 blocks, shooting a lousy 40.7% and disappointing 62.1% free throws.
Both have potential to be capable backups, or role-playing starters, but they’ve been lost so far in 2008-09.