On the day Derrick Rose was drafted by da Bulls, I was happy to have Kirk Hinrich as his backup not only for his Bulls experience but more so for his size and defensive role. If you followed Derrick Rose during his Simeon High and Memphis days you saw clear evidence of his special athletic gifts and potential as an attacking guard. Having a primary scorer at PG made it tantamount that his backup could offer defensive help on the NBA’s growing population of scoring PGs and the overall importance of the position in today’s game. The combo guard has always been my favorite primary backup PG for these reasons since the BEST TEAM EVER, our beloved 1995-1996 72-10 Chicago Bulls used 6’6 Ron “Hollywood” Harper at PG. This led to an overall shift of defensive principles based on versatile defenders switching on the perimeter wings, a precursor and probable roots of the Thibodeau defense as he suffered many early career playoff losses to da Bulls while with the Knicks. The luxury of having Harper’s height advantage at a ballhandling position without having to run the show allowed Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen to be playmakers. Defending champion Golden State has in my opinion the best backup PG in 6’7 Shaun Livingston, but also used 6’6 SG Andre Iguodala at the point for long stretches of the season. This allowed Stephen Curry to be more creative on the offensive end while shifting on the fly playing both guard spots.
Etwaun Moore has shown a skillset that shows promise of being that facilitator for both Derrick Rose as well as Jimmy Butler. He has proven to be a dependable ballhandler and stout defender in his limited action under Thibs while also exhibiting more confidence in his game this preseason. His ability to play both guard spots will allow Fred Hoiberg to use Moore as a link between lineups in his core rotation. Etwaun Moore should have been on the floor longer than Kirk Hinrich last season, and I expect Fred Hoiberg to allow him every opportunity to be the first guard off the bench.
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