Chicago Sun-Times

Johnson, Gibson look solid

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It would be foolish to read too much from the first couple of preseason games, but right now it's look as if rookies James Johnson and Taj Gibson will be key contributors off the bench from the start of the season.

Gibson followed up his splendid debut last week against the Indiana Pacers with another solid effort in the Bulls' thrilling 102-101 victory over the Utah Jazz Tuesday in London. Johnson also had a good game and gave the Bulls the win with a buzzer-beating short jumper.

Both rookies are active and athletic and will give the Bulls improved front-court depth. With Johnson and Gibson playing well, Tyrus Thomas better produce or else he could find himself losing playing time.

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7 Comments

Yeah, whatever.

I finally got a chance to catch this game on DVR tonight and I agree, JJ, the 2 rooks showed promise. Obviously experience and consistency is the name of the game for all NBA rookies, but James Johnson showed me some serious, and I mean real SERIOUS, upside offensive potential. Taj Gibson may not be as talented, but he's ready to contribute now, more so than James Johnson because Taj is not your typical NBA rookie at 24 years old already. He will be a fantastic role player specialist-type at the 4 position for many years to come. He still just needs to continue building up bulk so that he can handle the daily grind and the big post bodies of today's NBA, but he's already solid fundamentally on the defensive side. I still would have preferred the Bulls to have drafted DeJuan Blair over Taj at the time, but I can see where Taj might be a better fit for this particular team and coach in Del Negro. As for James Johnson, he needs discipline in his game and I'm not so sure that Vinny and co. are the guys to develop him properly, but there's no denying his potential on offense. The kid has serious handles for a guy his size, but he plays like he thinks he can be a point guard without the true and natural peripheral vision ability. I'd like to see him bang and post much more especially with his thick body build, but we'll see how he develops. I still have my reservations about this coaching staff, but so far so good even though it has only been 2 preseason games so far. Remember, for all the praise we are giving James Johnson right now, he was nonexistent against Indiana in the first preseason game. I'm more worried that he'll continue to work on his offense more than the defensive side of the ball. However, MAJOR props for that buzzer beating shot! That was a very nice looking fadeaway jumper on replay.

I wish the bulls had an eye for talent....oh i forgot they dont make baskettball players like they used to...lmao atj will b ok ..JAMES jHONSON just like every other player need people to draw dbl teams to get him open dunks or shots...This season will def b interesting?????

Thanks Edgar. I trust your insight. If you say they have promise, I will go with that. I feel much better already. Victory over Jazz is impressive. I know Sloan don't take any shorts. They are probably just finishing those laps for losing.

JJ - Tyrus has his work cut out for him, but he and the Bulls want the same thing and that's for him to shine on the court. I personally think he has the skills to be special. I think Vinny is in his way. I have watched many players and its rare to see someone jump and block shots like he can. He gets up like Rodman. Bulls have to find a way to be patient and harness that energy. But Vinny doesnt like him and I think the Bulls are going to trade him. Nobody is as happy as Vinny with the draft and I bet he is as giddy as a school girl now that they are playing well.

I think jhonson will do good for the team if derrick drives alot he'll have open looks alot.have seen any of the games yet tho been too busy at work gonna have to dvr them....hope they do good i dont have high expectations tho for Deng or Tyrus i think thier both a bust.....trade them now!!!!!

Man, sure would love to see Jerry Sloan coach this Bulls team, right Keith? The guy is just a great NBA head coach despite not having won any Championships, no doubt about it. Yes, JJ and Taj had a great game against the Jazz. If there's anything I'll give Vinny and co. some credit for, the team has played much more active defense on the ball. They're still a work in progress on the overall team help defense and rotations on the pick and rolls or the dribble penetrations, but guys like Taj Gibson will help out in that area. He's fundamentally sound on defense, I like that a lot. And James Johnson... I'll admit, he surprised me. I saw some glimpses of him in College, but never really took a close look at him until the summer leagues and these 2 preseason games, but he has serious offensive potential. I can see why the Bulls like him a lot, now it's a matter of developing that talent properly, so this will be a good assessment on Vinny and co. to show me what they have and if they're capable of coaching this team to a Championship level status. Unfortunately though, he's probably not going to play as many mins as Taj off the bench because of the numbers game at crowded small forward position. And then back to Tyrus again... without the trust from the coaches, he'll never get that opportunity to excel on this team. I've always felt that we never "coached" him properly. The bench games that Skiles and Vinny have played with Tyrus doesn't work for someone like Tyrus. He has to play through his mistakes to get any better and with the Bulls not exactly in position to contend for any title anytime soon, there should be no reason why he can't learn from his mental lapses on the court. He's gotta play. That's all on the coaches.

I absolutely agree on Tyrus edgar they never really did have agood coaching exp with tyrus.i thought he would b great but the front office hasnt done too good of a job picking coaches lately....

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This page contains a single entry by John Jackson published on October 6, 2009 4:07 PM.

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