The Bulls have one more preseason game left before starting the regular season a week from today on the road against the 76ers and Jabari Parker already seems unhappy with his new team.
Fred Hoiberg made a couple changes to the starting lineup heading into Wednesday night’s game against the Pacers at the United Center. First, rookie Wendell Carter Jr. got the nod at center over Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis made the starting lineup at power forward, moving Parker to the bench.
The changes came after two consecutive losses by the Bulls and well they worked. Portis scored 20 points, hitting 3-of-5 3-point attempts, while pulling down six rebounds in 22 minutes. The Bulls beat the Pacers convincingly 104-89, but after the game not everyone was happy.
Via 670 The Score.
The switch had the intended effect, as the Bulls started strong en route to a 104-89 win at the United Center behind 22 points apiece from Zach LaVine and Justin Holiday in the team’s best showing of the preseason. How the switch affects Parker, the high-profile free-agent addition who’s making $20 million this season, remains to be seen.
Parker scored 11 points off the bench on 4-of-12 shooting but didn’t appear pleased with his new role, declining to comment to reporters in pregame availability and then again postgame. He’s struggled to find a rhythm in four preseason games, shooting 26.5 percent. The Bulls signed him in July with the intention of starting him at small forward, only to shift to power forward when Lauri Markkanen suffered a severe elbow sprain the first week of training camp.
I don’t think it’s a big deal right now, but certainly something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. I mean, it’s not even the end of the preseason and Parker is already pouting after getting moved out of the starting lineup?
And you know what, I won’t completely bash Parker here because you kind of have to have this type of attitude to get to this level. You have to think you’re the best. No one wants to be a bench guy. So, yeah I understand why Parker was probably not too happy about the decision.
Parker has no one to blame here but himself. He’s been terrible so far shooting the ball and his defense has been garbage. How about channeling that negative energy into the defensive end moving forward.
Oh and right now, Bobby Portis 100% deserves to be in the starting five over Parker. So, let’s hope Fred keeps it that way going into the regular season.