Earlier in the week, Johnson and many others reported that while the Bulls coach, Fred Hoiberg, still remains undecided on the opening day starting lineup, he is heavily leaning towards starting Nikola Mirotić over Noah. Apparently Mirotić has impressed the first year coach enough this offseason, with his ability to space the floor, to earn the start.
Ever since his sophomore year with the Bulls, Noah has been a constant in the starting lineup. Always providing the high energy, impenetrable defense, and mostly dysfunctional offensive that he, and the entire Bulls lineup became known for, for so many years. With this change, Fred Hoiberg is sending a message. A message that truly shows how different this team will look compared to previous years.
This change to the starting lineup clearly illustrates what the former Iowa State head coach plans to do with the Bulls this season. Hoiberg plans to win games by outscoring his opponents and by focusing much more on the offensive side of the ball than the defensive side. Inserting Mirotić into the lineup will allow the Bulls to potentially accomplish that goal much easier.
This starting lineup change however, does not spell an end to our favorite bun-haired, tornado jump shooting center. Noah will still provide his leadership, high energy, and great rebounding and passing that he always has. The only exception is that now he will be doing so in a lesser role coming off the bench. This change more likely spells an end to the Chicago Bulls’ days of winning games by a score of 85 - 80. Instead, they will now be winning most of their games by a score of 120 -115, which definitely isn’t a bad thing.