When Bulls general manager John Paxson sat down with the press after his team’s King Day matinee against the San Antonio Spurs, he was a bit more philosophical than usual.
“Many great minds have said, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,'” Pax said. “I say, ‘If it’s broke but it works better than it did when it wasn’t broke, don’t fix it, because it might go back to the way it was when it was broke, but working badly.'”
As far as anybody could tell, Pax was trying to say the Bulls play better with fewer players on their bench. On Saturday, they beat Memphis by 45 without the services of Andres Nocioni [suspension] and Ben Wallace [hypochondria]. Yesterday, they beat the Spurs 99-87 without Chris Duhon [team policy violation] and Wallace [more hypocondria].
Coach Scott Skiles likes what he’s seen from his smaller team the last two games. “This shorter bench is awesome. Just for the [expletive deleted] of it, when we play Milwaukee [Wednesday], we’re only suiting up seven guys.”
Kirk Hinrich, who’s expected to be suspended for Wednesday’s game as part Skiles’ team-improvement effort, led the Bulls with 23 points. Andres Nocioni, who’s also expected to be suspended for Wednesday’s game, had 12 points and 11 rebounds. And Tyrus Thomas, who’s also expected to be suspended for Wednesday’s game, had a career high five blocks.
Ben Gordon, who’s also expected to be suspended for Wednesday’s game, is ready to sacrifice minutes for the good of the team.
“Man, as long as I hit my contract incentives,” Gordon said, “I don’t care if Coach plays Adrian [Griffin] and Mike [Sweetney] 48 minutes a game.”
Or maybe not.