Notes: Young Bulls focused on improvement

Notes: Young Bulls focused on improvement
September 29, 2013, 1:45 pm
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Mark Strotman

Tom Thibodeau isn't known for giving his younger players much playing time, and a veteran-laden roster means that likely will be the case in 2013-14.

But that hasn't stopped the Bulls' pair of rookies -- forwards Tony Snell and Erik Murphy -- and talented second-year guard Marquis Teague from preparing as though they'll hear their name called early in the season.

Both Snell and Murphy have been in the practice facility every day since signing their respective contracts, and general manager Gar Forman said the former has put up 18 pounds of muscle since arriving in Chicago.

For Snell, those workouts and individual practices weren't as much a "Welcome to the NBA moment" as it was when the players began filing in to the Berto Center earlier last week.

"It was unreal, since I’ve been watching the Bulls my whole life since I was younger," he said, "and to just see my name next to their logo, I was speechless. Three, four days ago when the players started coming in, that’s when I realized it was real."

For Murphy, the entire process has been a whirlwind of a childhood dream.

"It’s been a series of things," he said. "You get drafted and come here for your press conference and then you play Summer League, I moved here and now media day. It’s all kind of a mix of that. It’s pretty sweet."

Teague has been through the process of being a rookie, but he understood this offseason that the workload only increases the following season.

After a successful Las Vegas Summer League run, Teague spent even more time in the gym with the thought in mind that he'd be seeing more playing time than he did as a rookie. In Las Vegas, he showed he was able to take the reins of an offense and perform well. He's hoping that will translate when his number is called this season.

"I was just trying to show my leadership, showing I can knock down the outside shot and show everything I’ve been working on all summer," Teague said. "It’s going to help me out a lot, giving me more confidence than I already have and teaching me how to run a team. I got a chance to run a team; I got to play a lot of minutes so that was a good experience for me."