Bulls' PG overhaul complete, but are they better?


Bulls' PG overhaul complete, but are they better?

With the addition of Nate Robinson formally announced this afternoon, the Bulls point guard mixing and matching of an off-season seems to have come to a close.
The additions of Robinson and Kirk Hinrich through free agency came after C.J. Watson and John Lucas III left for Brooklyn and Toronto, respectively. The writing may have been on the wall for both after the team drafted Kentucky freshman Marquis Teague in June.
And while the position will act as more of a stop gap until the main attraction, Derrick Rose, is ready to return, replacing Watson and Lucas with Hinrich and Robinson were still important moves.
Watson and Lucas combined for 4.8 win shares a year ago, seeing increased roles in place of Rose, who missed 27 regular season games. Hinrich and Robinson, who started a combined 40 games, totaled 4.6 win shares. So while each pair's win shares were almost identical, Hinrich's and Robinson's defensive numbers from last year were much worse. The pair averaged 107.0 points per 100 possessions allowed, while Watson and Lucas averaged just 101.5 points. Hinrich has always been a solid defender, but Robinson leaves plenty to be desired as an offensive-minded shooter. That may have to change under Thibodeau.
Offensively, Robinson and Hinrich averaged 105 points per 100 possessions, while Watson and Lucas averaged 104 points of their own. Each pair combined for similar offensive numbers, with the incoming point guards averaging slightly better numbers in about 12 more minutes per game. Robinson is the streakiest shooter of the four, and Hinrich is likely the most efficient, so with scoring at the position being an issue early in the year the Bulls appear to have improved some.
Money apparently was not too big an issue at the position, as Watson (2 years, 6 million) and Lucas (two years, 3 million) will make only slightly more than Hinrich (2 years, 8 million) and Robinson (one year, likely veteran's minimum).
While it may not seem like it at first glance, the Bulls' defense at the point guard position takes a hit with this year's moves. A key could very well be how well the athletic Teague can acclimate to the NBA game, and potentially see time on the court early.
The Bulls are in good hands with two seasoned veterans in Hinrich and Robinson, and any contributions Teague makes can be viewed as an added bonus. But whether or not the back court is better off with those two instead of Watson and Lucas is something that will be watched closely until Rose comes back.

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

The state of the Bulls after the first half of the season

Who are the Bulls? The team that beat Cleveland and Toronto or lost to Dallas, Minnesota and Milwaukee?

That's the question Bulls fans are currently asking and the one Bulls Insider Vincent Goodwill posed in the video above.

The Bulls have had impressive wins and shocking losses, but neither of those should be surprising at this point. The Bulls are, as Goodwill put it, consistently inconsistent.

The first half of the season has proven that Dwyane Wade still has some memorable moments left to give and Jimmy Butler continues to approach superstardom. On the downside, the drama surrounding Rajon Rondo has meant the 'three alphas' that were hyped up in the preseason haven't been the dynamic trio some Bulls fans had hoped.

Coach Fred Hoiberg doesn't have the shooters his system needs, but can he still rally the troops and get something out of Rondo?

Watch the video to see Goodwill's look back on the Bulls' first half and what could be ahead.

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Five Things to Watch: Bulls host Mavericks in search of third straight win

Watch as the Bulls take on the Mavericks tonight on CSN+ and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Bulls Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Bulls.

Five Things to Watch:

1. What's Jimmy Butler got in store? On paper, Butler's performance Sunday night against the Grizzlies was nothing special. In fact, in many ways it fell short of his season averages. But Jimmy G. Buckets was on his game in the fourth quarter when the Bulls needed him most, helping them to a crucial road victory in Memphis. Tonight a fast start will be key against a Mavericks team that struggles to play from behind.

2. Dirk Nowitzki is back. The Mavericks are finally getting back to full-strength, and the main contributor to that is Dirk Nowtizki. The future Hall-of-Famer is finally rounding into form after an Achilles injury kept him out of the lineup most of the year. In his last three games, Nowitzki is averaging 20.3 points on 49 percent shooting.

3. There was at least some rumblings that the Bulls might have considered going after Ames native Harrison Barnes this past offseason. Instead, Barnes wound up in Dallas a potential building block for the Mavs. And he's looked pretty solid through the season's first half. Barnes is averaging 20.7 points on 48 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds and nearly a steal per game in 36 minutes. It'll be a fun matchup watching him go against Jimmy Butler.

4. More 3-pointers on the way? It's easy to say that a 31-point outing will get you going, but maybe Doug McDermott can build on his career night against the Grizzlies. He hit 3 of 6 triples, made 10 of 11 free throws and even added six rebounds and a(nother) block. The Bulls will be able to run more against the Mavs than they were the Grizzlies, meaning more spacing for McDermott to find open shots. If he's hitting early, the Bulls are in good shape.

5. A three-game winning streak on the line. The last time the Bulls won three straight -- earlier this month -- it pushed them over .500. Now they've got a chance to reel off a third straight and again get back over .500. As poorly as the Bulls have played as a whole, the Eastern Conference is wide open at the bottom half of the playoff bracket, so these are opportunities they don't want to miss against a struggling team.

- Buy tickets to tonight's game

- Check out the latest stats and standings to make sure you’re ready for action

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

- NBC Sports App FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Bulls: All of the most recent news and notes

- See what Bulls fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Bulls Pulse