The bad news keeps coming.
Only a couple hours after a depressing update on the health status of Otto Porter, Jim Boylen announced that Chandler Hutchison will sit tonight’s game against the Detroit Pistons due shin soreness.
Jim Boylen said Chandler Hutchison is out vs. Pistons with sore shins.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 20, 2019
And according to ESPN’s Eric Woodyard, Boylen also said there is currently no timetable for Hutchison’s return. Awesome. Cool. Wonderful. Great.
*squeezes basketball so hard it deflates*
The Bulls have many possible nightmare situations, but this one has to be right at the top of the list. Heading into the season, the team’s glaring weakness came at the wing. Other than Otto Porter, the team would be relying mostly on a second-year Hutchison, who played in only 44 games last season.
Now, with both players down, the Bulls will have to rely on a three-guard backcourt for the entirety of the game. Thaddeus Young is a possible substitute at the three (a position he’s played previously in his pro career), but Boylen has ruled him out as a starter tonight, according to K.C. Johnson. I suppose the head coach prefers Young as a substitute off the bench, which might be necessary based on Markkanen’s poor start to the season.
However, this means the coaching staff will have to shuffle their guards even more. If you asked me, I would opt to start Dunn at the point and move Satoransky over as the fill-in for Hutchison. With Satoransky’s size and prior experience at the position with the Wizards, it makes him an easy choice. Boylen isn’t one for the easy choices though (after all, he sat Daniel Gafford for practically 13 games). Don’t be surprised if a Boylen favorite – meaning Ryan Arcidiacono – finds his way into the starting group instead.
No matter what Boylen decides though, the Bulls’ second unit will take some kind of hit. With that being the case, it’s very likely that Denzel Valentine gets his first taste of real minutes this season. The six-foot-six guard provides a bigger frame that can (hopefully) help grab some boards and defend decently. Still, Valentine hasn’t clocked major minutes in an NBA game since his reconstructive ankle surgery, so exactly how much he can help this team remains a mystery.
Johnson reported that while the starting lineup remains TBD, Arcidiacono, Valentine, and Shaquille Harrison will all be considered.
To end on at least some kind of silver lining, the Bulls are catching a small break with the Pistons missing their starter at the same position, Tony Snell. The Pistons will have to do some reshuffling of their own, but the tandem of Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond might be enough to handle this depleted Bulls roster.