Rajon Rondo was bad Friday afternoon against Indiana — he was minus-20 showing in 10 minutes in the first half, with no points and three fouls. So Fred Hoiberg benched him in the second half. And the Bulls made a comeback (one which ultimately fell short of a win because the Pacers closed the game on a 14-4 run). That wasn’t the first time this has happened. Monday (also against Indiana) Rondo started the second half but played about the first four minutes before going to the bench never to get off it.
It looks like Rondo on the bench could be a trend.
Hoiberg said he would re-evaluate the starting lineup before the Bulls face the Bucks on Saturday. From Vincent Goodwill of CSNChicago.com, and K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, here is the post-game fallout from the Rondo benching. (There’s a typo in the first tweet, it should be “sat” not say.)
Rondo handled that well, but he can’t be happy with a potential demotion.
Friday, Hoiberg leaned on Michael Carter-Williams in the second half, and he seems the logical player to step into the starting rotation for the Bulls.
Rondo is averaging 7.5 points and 7.3 assists per game, but he’s not been efficient with a True Shooting percentage of 41.6 this season (the league average is closer to 52 percent). He has a PER of 11.5, which would be a career low. He’s hurt the offense, and not been great on defense. The Bulls basically have played opponents even when he is on the court.
With the loss the Bulls fell below .500 for the season, at 16-17. This roster isn’t working — and it’s not Hoiberg’s fault, it was poorly constructed. This summer, everyone from fans to scouts looked at that roster and realized it doesn’t have enough shooting, and in December the Bulls shot 28.6 percent from three as a team (and went 6-10 so far).
It’s fair to question how much Carter-Williams helps the shooting with the first unit (not that Jerian Grant would be a significant upgrade), but the Bulls may need to shake things up. The Eastern Conference is a tight group from 3 through 12, and a losing streak can cause big damage to playoff dreams.