Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg made yet another change to his point guard rotation on Tuesday as second-year guard Jerian Grant got the start. That ended a string of 12 starts for Michael Carter-Williams, who previously took over for Rajon Rondo.
MCW admitted it was “frustrating” to be benched out of no where. Both he and Rondo didn’t see a single second.
“I was a little surprised,” Carter-Williams admitted to ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “I didn’t really see it coming.”
Hoiberg’s gamble worked in the sense that Chicago came away with a 100-92 victory over the Orlando Magic, but it didn’t come on the strength of point guard play. Grant had seven points on 1-of-4 shooting for a minus-11 in 20 minutes, while Rondo and Carter-Williams watched Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade drag the Bulls across the finish line to climb back to .500.
“Hopefully you get your time,” a dejected Carter-Williams said after the game. “If it’s not one team, maybe it’s another one.”
Wade and Butler are both effective playmakers who deserve to have the ball. Both are capable of playing the point which makes life difficult on the actual point guards – especially those who cannot function without the rock. Rondo and Carter-Williams are similar in the sense that they aren’t effective shooters, so they hurt the Bulls’ spacing when they don’t have the ball.
“I’ve been looking at a lot of things,” Hoiberg explained. “Obviously, we’re putting the ball in Jimmy’s hands a lot. We just felt as far as complementing that (starting) lineup, we felt that Jerian was the guy we’d go with tonight.”
The ongoing carousel at the point is doing Hoiberg no favors, but the problem circles back to roster construction. Bulls management replaced Derrick Rose with three guards who largely can’t shoot, and then added Wade, another iffy outside shooter. Hoiberg is trying to make the best of a bad hand, and for his efforts he receives the scorn of his unwanted guards.