I didn’t get to watch the last Bulls game against the Timberwolves. Once again it didn’t look like I missed much. The bench continued to struggle. Chicago didn’t have Luol Deng or Rip Hamilton. And they lost.
It’s good that the Bulls are getting used to playing without Rip in the preseason, so they won’t be shocked when he plays 15 games all year.
Jimmy Butler and Marco Belinelli started in place of Deng and Rip, and based purely on the stat sheet, Butler had an alright game, with nine points and eight rebounds, while Belinelli struggled, going 3-7 from the field and not adding much else to the box score.
Kirk Hinrich (15 points) and Joakim Noah (14 points, 13 rebounds) played well. Noah taking on a bigger scoring role will be key for the Bulls this season. And since I didn’t see the game I can imagine Jo’s six field goals were all beautiful skyhooks he learned this summer, rather than ugly jumpers.
Nazr Mohammed once again scored in double digits. Omer Asik scored in double digits six times as a Bull. Six. The question is whether or not Nazr’s defense can make those ten points worthwhile. Although I’m sure that extra cash in Reinsdorf’s pocket is nice.
Nate Robinson scored 9 points but was just 3-11 from the field and 0-5 from deep. He is going to have those types of games, just as John Lucas had those types of games. But the Bulls are counting on him for some points so he needs to start putting together some good games. Or even solid games.
But the person that continues to be the biggest problem is Carlos Boozer. He was just 2-7 for five points. It’s a scary thought that Boozer is supposed to be the Bulls top scorer and best offensive player.
The Bulls get another division opponent tonight in Milwaukee. Hinrich gets another tough test in Brandon Jennings (Rose used to own the Bucks). Boozer should have an easier time, going up against Drew Gooden, and maybe can start getting some sort of rhythm.